Thursday, August 29, 2013

sunday funday!

last sunday awesome husband @_antgas suggested that we go on a little field trip.  we went to the old bethpage village restoration.  it's an awesome living history museum.  i grew up in bethpage (so did my parents) and went to public school.  it was practically mandatory that we went every single year with school.  even @_antgas went a few times when he was in elementary school.  for those of you who won't click the link, the short story is that these historic houses were found on different parts of long island, moved from their original location, and restored to what they would look like mid-1800s.  my mother, aunt, and one set of grandparents volunteered there.

@_antgas and i used to go there a couple of times a year.  one of the last times we went before we moved down to florida was halloween of 2002.  we went to old bethpage village restoration and planned to go to my mom's for dinner.  we stopped off at his house where he tied my engagement ring to the collar of our first dog and tried to propose to me.  i was a little thick and it took me forever to notice the ring.

anyway, we haven't been back since we moved back from florida and it wasn't too hot on sunday, so i thought it would be fun.  we loaded up on sunscreen and off we went.  get ready for a photo heavy post filled with fun sort of historical facts.

a room in the schenck house, c. 1765

an old high chair

potty training 1800s style

the back room of the conklin house, c. 1853

an actual outhouse.  it was filled with spiders, not poop.

the bedell house c. 1835, not open

the parlor at layton general store, c 1866

a beautiful old desk, layton store

kitchen of the layton store.  they had pump water and a bathing tub

stove, layton store.  in addition to cooking, this helped heat the house

bedroom of layton store.  such an amazing old sewing machine!

boy's room, layton store

secretary desk, layton store 
these old shipping crates are over the doorway between the house part of the layton store and the actual general store

something awesome and old that i can't remember what it does.

old storage tins and weights for selling herbs and spices 
this housed needles of different sizes for sewing, embroidery, etc.

luyster general store, c. 1840.  hey! i use borax in my homemade laundry soap!

the old safe in the luyster general store which was across the street from the layton store (the intersection of 106 and 25a in east norwich).  the luyster general store was described as the home depot of the mid-1800s, where the layton store would have been more of a supermarket or target.

parlor, noon inn, c. 1850.  dominos, bitches!

the meeting room, upstairs noon inn.  if needed, they would also rent the benches for inn guests to sleep on.  we also learned that back then, any place that served alcohol had to offer at least two beds to sleep in.  the noon inn had one bedroom for rent with two beds, as well as benches in the meeting room if needed.  we were told that you could go to sleep in the bed alone and wake up with friends!  inn guests did not pay for the entire bed - just a spot to sleep.

bach blacksmith shop, c. 1875.  this is the first time we've ever seen it open and working!

ritch house, c. 1830, next to the hat shop.  mr. ritch was the hatmaker.  sadly, the hat shop was not open because they did not have a hatmaker on staff that day.

the powell farm kitchen, c. 1855.  the powell farm house is the only house that was originally on the property.  there are still goats and chickens there - as well as the two largest pigs on long island (900lbs+ each!)  the round metal drum looking thing is basically like a roaster: you would put it in front of the fire for indirect heat and use it to cook a bird.

this is the door to the bake oven.  it was an open brick oven alongside the fireplace which was used for, well, baking.  my mother told me she used to help bake at the old bethpage village restoration, and i think this is the house she cooked in.  i remember her telling me stories about how many logs they would load into the fireplace to heat the bake oven to the right temperature.  i don't think about that often, but seeing the kitchen at the powell farm brought a flood of memories about my mom.

a quilting table at the powell farm.  the end could be rolled around a wooden dowel to expose more of the blanket to be quilted.  because there are so many chairs around the table, i'd expect that quilting was a big social even at the powell farm.

an old desk at the powell farm.  obviously i love old desks.

the potter, in a side building next to the noon inn.  we've never seen a potter before but it was amazing.  the round piece on the bottom would be pushed by foot to spin the top.

@_antgas thought this was cool because it has a leaf spring, which is still used in cars today.  the plaque says 'r.g. powell, undertaker - hempstead'.

manetto hill church, c. 1857.

old bethpage village restoration cemetery.  supposedly the headstones were relocated from an old family cemetery.  

the hewlett house, c. 1840.  @_antgas and i were very interested to learn this house has been opened recently - it was never, ever opened when we used to go.  my mom told us that in the 1970s everyone thought the hewlett house was haunted.  they'd set it up to be opened - put the furniture in the right place, etc - and then the next morning, everything would be moved.  it was not open on sunday because of staffing, but we're planning on calling before we go next time to ensure it's open.

@_antgas discovered that he could take decent pictures through the window.  we were nerdily excited because this is the first time we had ever been able to see inside - the last time we were there, we weren't even allowed to walk up to the house.

the hewlett house

@_antgas being ridiculously adorable and excited about looking in the hewlett house 
the hewlett house

the hewlett house

overall, it was an excellent day.  awesome husband @_antgas and i had a fun time just walking around, spending time together.  and we learned new things.  it seems like every time we go there, we learn something new.  i've been going there since 1987 and i still learn new things.  they usually have special things going on in the fall and around halloween, so we're planning on going back then - especially if the hewlett house is open.

anyone else have any fun, historical, educational things that they like to do?

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