Living History: April 2004

By Lauren Eisenstodt Premium

A Stitch in Time: New York City

“A woman who does not know how to sew is as deficient in her education as a man who cannot write,” advised Eliza Farrar in the 1830s publication The Young Lady’s Friend. Through April 18, The New-York Historical Society exhibit Home Sewn: Three Centuries of Stitching History will examine the role domestic sewing has played in the lives of New York women. Organized into six thematic sections — Sewing ABCs, Outfitting Family and Home, The Fabric of Life, Identity and Expression, The Sewing Circle and Stitching a Living — the exhibit explores the craft’s evolution through such technological advancements as the invention of the sewing machine and cultural trends such as ready-to-wear clothing. Home Sewn features handmade clothing, quilts and household linens; sewing manuals; pattern books; and historical tools. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Call (212) 873-3400 or visit <> for details.

Life on the Alabama: Monroeville, Ala.

Experience 18th-century Monroe County March 18-20 at Alabama River Heritage Days, a living history festival presented by the Alabama River Museum at Claiborne Lock and Dam. Re-enactors will set up camp and portray the lives of Creek Indians, frontier militiamen and European traders who settled along the river. Listen to period music as they demonstrate pottery making, hide tanning and other early crafts. Present-day traveling traders will sell American Indian handicrafts and artifact reproductions. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12. For more information, call (251) 575-7433.

Tomb Raiders: Milwaukee, Wis.
Tour a full-scale replica of a pharaoh’s burial chamber, and examine more than 100 Egyptian antiquities at The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt, an exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum March 28-Aug. 8. Featuring massive stone carvings of gods and pharaohs, gold death masks, painted coffins, jewelry, and jars that once held internal organs, the exhibit explores ancient Egyptian attitudes reward death and the afterlife — primarily during the New Kingdom (1550 to 1069 BC), an era of great power and wealth. While there, be sure to check out Mysteries of Egypt, an IMAX film that takes you over the Nile River and pyramids of Giza, into King Tut’s tomb and through a portrayal of the 70-day-long ritual of anointing, embalming and wrapping King Tut’s body. Admission to the exhibit is $ 18.50 for adults, $17.50 for seniors and $11.50 for children ages 3 to 15. IMAX tickets cost $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5.50 for children. Call (414) 278-2702 or visit <> for details.
Historic Horticulture: Virginia

Step behind the gates of Virginia’s finest country estates, townhouses, oceanfront villas, James River plantations and Victorian farmhouses during the statewide Historic Garden Week in Virginia, April 17-25. The Garden Club of Virginia will open the homes and gardens of Robert E. Lee, George Washington, Meriwether Lewis and other notable Virginians. These homes date from the mid-17th century to the early 21st century. Tours include five to six local houses and gardens, and benefit the restoration of historic gardens throughout the state. Ticket prices range from $10 to $30 per event. For a schedule of tour dates, call (804) 644-7776 or visit <>.

Peak Performance: Picacho, Ariz.

Picacho Peak State Park has your ticket to Civil War history: the Picacho Peak Civil War Re-enactment, March 13-14. More than 150 costumed re-enactors will camp at the park and demonstrate laundering, sewing, candle making and cooking. Then, the Union and Confederate armies will take to the battlefield, demonstrating old-time medical care and portraying the skirmish at Picacho Pass and the battles of Val Verde and Glorieta Pass. Admission is the regular park fee of $6 per vehicle (groups of five or more must pay extra). For more information, call (602) 542-4174 or (800) 285-3703, or visit <>.

From the April 2004 Family Tree Magazine