SAVE THE DATE!
Annual Children's Day
Sunday, May 19th, 12 to 5 pm
A Visit with an 18th Century Surgeon-Dentist
Sunday, June 9th, 12 to 5 pm
EVERYONE CAN ENJOY BEING AN 18TH CENTURY CHILD
Sunday, May 19th, 12 noon to 5:00 pm
It's that time of the year again: all children (ages 0 to 100) are welcome to come and enjoy Rockingham's Annual Children's Day, being held this year on Sunday, May 19, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm! The site, which served as General George Washington's final wartime headquarters in later 1783, will be offering activities and demonstrations of 18th-century life with support from the Montgomery High School Live Historians Club and the Rockingham Association. Activities include trying on replica 18th-century clothing and learning to write with quill and ink; playing historic games like Battledore & Shuttlecock and Trap Ball, an early form of baseball; experiencing common activities like washing clothes and hanging them to dry, making crafts such as paper hats, epaulettes (shoulder decorations for an officer) and marbled paper. There will be basket-making and outdoor-cooking demonstrations. The house will be open for guided mini-tours and the garden will be available for perusing. The barn will be open and will be used to house some of the activities (especially if it rains). You can visit the Museum Store with its many interesting wares and trinkets for sale and there will be light refreshments available. No registration is required. While admission to the event is FREE, donations are very gladly accepted! The event is held rain or shine, though some activities may be curtailed if it rains.
A VISIT WITH AN 18TH-CENTURY SURGEON-DENTIST AND MINI-ENCAMPMENT
Let us be clear: George Washington did not have wooden teeth. However, he did have dental problems through most of his adult life, as did many 18th-century folk of both high and low social class. There were no regular visits to dentists, with tooth brushing and flossing in between at that time. There weren't even dentists as we know them today. Dentistry was only just evolving as a separate profession through the eighteenth century. Barber-surgeons or surgeon-dentists provided many more services than our modern dentists. Toothbrushes were somewhat new, but rare for most people to use or even own. Germs were an unknown entity.
On Sunday, June 9, Marjory Wienkop will be in residence in the Dutch barn with a display of colonial-era surgeon-dentist instruments, related objects and much information on the real story of who took care of teeth, what knowledge they had or didn't have and what other services they provided in the time of George Washington. This program will be offered from 12 noon to 5:00 pm and you can come at any time within that period. Unfortunately (or, rather, fortunately), there will be no actual tooth extractions or other surgeries performed that day, but much fun and enlightenment in the toothsome ways of the dental "professional" of the 18th-century! Come and visit with the surgeon-dentist!
In addition, member of the 3rd PA Rev War group from Historical Military Impressions will have a mini-encampment on site with military displays and periodic musket drills and firings. The event will be held rain or shine.
Rockingham offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year. Our largest annual events are the Holiday Candlelight Tour in early December and Children's Day in early May, both presented with the help of the volunteers from The Rockingham Association, the Montgomery High School Live Historians and the Stony Brook Garden Club.
Other programs focus on various aspects of Colonial life and may be more appropriate for adults only or may be of interest to children as well.
Recent events have included:
- a workshop "From Fleece to Wool and Flax to Linen", explaining harvesting, preparing and spinning sheep's wool and flax in the 18th century; attendees were given the chance to card wool and spin yarn on a drop spindle.
- a celebration of George Washington's birthday. Director Lisa Flick designed an afternoon of special Washington themed tours and trivia questions for which visitors--adult and children alike--could win prizes. Special birthday tri-corner hats, Washington cake and punch were provided to all those who attended.
- "Anatomy of a Death: Death and Dying in the 18th Century" - Volunteer actors re-enacted the activities which occurred after a death in the colonial period. Participants then followed a trail along the Delaware and Raritan Canal to the Kingston Presbyterian Church Cemetery for a tour of the gravestones there.
- entertainment by The Practitioners of Musick with English flute and harpsichord.
- reenactments of the Berrien family and Revolutionary War artillery units
Please check the website regularly for announcements of future events and programs.
OUTREACH PROGRAMSHistory to Go!
The Children's Museum at Rockingham sponsors an outreach history project: History to Go!. This program is an opportunity for your groups to prepare to come to Rockingham, or to have Rockingham come to them! This program enables groups to see and use some of the most popular items from our Children's Museum in the convenience of their own classroom, living room or civic center.How did this program begin?
Rockingham, with the support of the New Jersey State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, realized that many people of all walks are interested in learning about American History. The most effective way of teaching is a "hands-on" approach where one can touch items, play games, and try on clothing from Colonial times. Rockingham wanted a program that would be available to all, regardless of their ability to come to our historic site.Who can use this program?
Anyone who wants to learn! Classroom groups that are planning to come to Rockingham while studying the Revolutionary War may use History to Go! In preparation for their visit. Other schools who are unable to come to Rockingham may want to use this project to supplement textbook explanations of the Colonial period. Scout troops, church groups, community centers, clubs, families, or home school organizations and all interested parties are encouraged to contact the site office for further information.What is included in the project?
The basic program consists of lesson plans, recipes, children's period-style clothing pieces, accessories, hats, personal items, games, books and craft projects all housed in three baskets. Extra quill pens with ink can be requested (must be ordered in advance) for an additional charge of $4.00 each.What is the fee for?
There is a $35 fee for this program, to be paid at the time the baskets are picked up.To Reserve the Program:
Call the Office (609) 683-7132 when the site is open to arrange a time to see the baskets and contents. We will help you to tailor the program to the needs of your group!
Rockingham State Historic Site
P.O. Box 496
Kingston, NJ 08528
This program was made possible by a generous donation of the New Jersey State Society of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Children of the American Revolution, Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission, and Forbes Newspapers.