Coffee and the Revolution of Daily Life

Excerpt of an article written by Peter Lummel, 2003, Open-Air Museum Domain Dahlem, City Museum of Berlin, Berlin, Germany. ALHFAM members can access the full text of this article and thousands more though the A.S.K. database. Not a member? Join today!

Library of Congress

Coffee and the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial revolution transformed the world, starting with England in the eighteenth century and continuing with Continental Europe and North America in the nineteenth century. In those days most people in the industrialized and urbanized world had to work away from home six days a week and often more than 12 or 14 hours a day. The income was low, the work was hard, the air in the factories was hot and bad. At home and at work the diet was not sufficient; hunger was the daily companion of a lot of workers.

Especially in the factories, hot and stimulating coffee gained importance as a substitute for longer breaks, for warm food at home, and for hard liquor. Canteens were opened in the factories, and from them workers could acquire coffee at a very low price. The entrepreneurs took account of the new scientific knowledge about nutrition and the diet of the working class. Scientists compared the coffee and its effect on the human body to the importance of oil for a machine.

The term “coffee break” was created in the US after World War II. In 1952 the Pan American Coffee Bureau launched a radio, newspaper and magazine campaign with the theme “Give Yourself a Coffee-Break — And Get What Coffee Gives to You.” After that, more than 80 percent of the firms had introduced a coffee break.

And what about coffee at work in our own time? There seems to be a direct link between coffee and the new economy and other new creative jobs, computer jobs in particular, if you have observed coffee advertisements. And isn’t it one of the rituals of modern business discussions— also in our museums— to offer a cup of coffee to our guests?

Coffee and Revolutionary Inventions

Photo: Katie Cannon

A last and almost unknown revolution of coffee has to do with the Internet. Does anybody know the real story of the webcam at all? In 1991 fifteen computer scientists of the University of Cambridge, who were addicted to coffee, had only one common coffee machine in. Every day they had to deal with the problem that the coffee pot was already empty, after they had walked the long way to the coffee machine. So they wrote a new computer program and used a special camera to be able to check the level of the coffee pot on their screen in their local intranet. Beginning in 1993, everybody could see the so-called “Trojan coffee pot” via the World Wide Web, and after a short time it became a trendy Internet address for thousands of people who loved coffee and that crazy story. So it was the power of coffee that led to the invention of the world’s first webcam.

This is an excerpt of an article that first appeared as: Peter Lummel, “Coffee and the Revolution of Daily Life” in Debra A. Reid, ed., Proceedings of the 2003 ALHFAM Conference & Annual Meeting, 109-112.

Posted in ALHFAM, food, Material Culture, Proceedings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rendezvous in Time ALHFAM 2019 Sainte Marie among the Hurons

by Del Taylor

Putting together an ALHFAM annual meeting and conference begins long before the members show up. I recalled how great it was to be at my first ALHFAM conference in 2000. One of the many memories I have was being in contact with conference chair Edward Baker. I’d never been to a conference like this before, and I didn’t know what to expect. Edward answered all of my questions and made me feel that there was nothing to worry about. It was this experience that I used during our conference at Sainte Marie among the Hurons this year.

Having a realistic budget is crucial to hosting a successful conference. Although we started off with a finance committee, we ended up with a three-person group that was the driving force of the conference. When decisions had to be made, we discussed the best course of action, and we divided the tasks that had to be done, whether that was receiving invoices, making sure the bills or paid, or finding financial support and sponsors for many aspects of the conference. And an important point: The largest part of our budget was food services, and the food is what folks tend to remember. The food service staff both at the conference hotel and at our site did an amazing job and served us well.

Along with setting up the budget, we had to find an appropriate venue. We were very happy to secure the Quality Inn and Conference Center, as it met all of our requirements. The location was ideal, as was the room rate, especially because so many attendees were from the States and had to deal with the exchange rate. The only real concern was the size of the meeting rooms, but this was balanced by the size of the hospitality room and the great service from the hotel management and staff.

Key to running any conference is to spread out the work load among teams and committees. I followed ALHFAM’s guide to running an annual meeting and conference and sought volunteers to assist with the project. We are very fortunate to have some very talented staff members who put in some serious time organizing various aspects of the conference.

The format of the conference was another important topic, as this has taken various forms, depending on the host site. We did the best we could to make sure that there was a good balance between session days and field trip days, and worked with area museums, historic sites and attractions to arrange visits that would be interesting, informative but also within our budget. We received low-cost or free admission from all of them. By all accounts our partners provided excellent services for us.

One of the very special parts of this year’s meeting was the overnight on our site. I’d wanted do this from the beginning, and our management worked with us to make it happen. We decided that the group would spend a majority of its time in the longhouse, discussing history and the story of Sainte Marie. It turned out to be an exceptional evening and one that I will not soon forget.

The initial response to our call for papers brought only a trickle of proposals, but, as usually happens, many came in right before the deadline, and we ended up with 75 to consider. The program co-chairs and I decided on the number of sessions we could handle and the selection criteria for the proposals. We agreed that we would use our site for sessions, as we looked at it as being the perfect opportunity to bring the professionalism and knowledge of ALHFAM and its membership directly to the visitor as well as attendees. We found that if we mixed curatorial, programming, administrative and hands-on sessions, we had the luxury of having a broad range of topics from which attendees could choose. A part of the program which many ALHFAM members look forward to is the annual plowing match. Despite the great challenges of finding a local person who would be willing to allow us use of a team of horses, and the necessity of finding a suitable location, we were successful in securing both.

There are always many questions that come from conference attendees, whether they are ALHFAM veterans or first-timers, and each of them is important. My philosophy was simple: answer the questions as they come in, immediately if you can, and no more than a couple of hours later, if at all possible. I used the same standard in relaying information to the membership at large, using the ALHFAM listserv and email messages sent via the ALHFAM webmaster.

The lesson: Communicate; communicate often; communicate quickly.

Another important lesson was a very simple one: Never appear to be tired or burdened during the event. Showing frustration, in my mind, shows weakness and loss of control. If you look happy and appear happy, you will be happy. I personally was very happy that all who attended had a good time, so that made it easier. Do everything with a smile, even if you are frustrated. I firmly believe that if your attendees see no problems there will be no problems and all will be well. I was fortunate to have a wonderful team to share the load. Knowing your people and what their strengths and weaknesses can certainly make your work easier. Count on them and use them.

Candice Moreau, Program Chair

Use the ALHFAM Annual Conference Planning Guide. It includes the organization’s expectations for the conference as well as the collective wisdom of the many great people from various organizations that have hosted annual meetings and conferences over the past 50 years. These guidelines are very helpful in making sure specific details are not missed.

You can count on attendees to offer help. They will and, this year, indeed they did. I will be eternally grateful for the help that was offered and given. No one knows conferences like our people, and it is second nature for all of us to offer a helping hand.

Finally, good luck to the future conference chairs, and in the wisdom of a previous conference committee member, “breathe”.

Del Taylor, 2019 Conference Chair  Photo Credit: Lauren Muney
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Farmer Tom…Forgotten?

by Jessica Michonski

 Monticello Gardens,  photo by the author

To visit the home of a historical figure is always an experience to be partaken…especially for a historian. In July 2019, I had the privilege to visit Monticello – Jefferson’s estate in the mountains of Virginia – while on vacation with my family.

I was enthralled with the classic architectural details of the house, the beauty of the surrounding countryside, and enjoyed walking the extensive grounds and gardens. The small museum gallery that was near the visitor center was also a highlight, with its mixture of interactive and standard exhibits that gave much more detail about the people and objects of Monticello.

For a plantation, though, I was disappointed to find that agriculture was barely presented. Horticulture and food were discussed in great detail, but very little was said in regard to the actual crops and animals being raised by Jefferson. Nor were the revolutionary experiments that he was conducting in soils or animal breeding discussed.

There were several minor mentions of Monticello’s agricultural activities scattered around the site. Examples included a mention of sheep in a panel about textiles, two postcard-size butchering diagrams in the smokehouse, and a small 10-foot section in the museum gallery that features a plow with Jefferson’s wooden moldboard design. All of these are tantalizing hints of a forgotten legacy – one that is on par with importance with his political achievements.

I do not fault Monticello’s staff for choosing the areas to focus as they did: they are faced with the same issues that many museums face in order to make their content relevant in a digital age. They are shaped by political and social perceptions of the current age, and what people are willing to fund. They also chose their narrative based on the seeming wealth of scholarly research available on Jefferson.

What is interesting to note is that while Jefferson is lauded as the father of modern American agriculture, there is actually very little published about why he is called such. Upon searching, it surprised me to find that there was hardly any literature available for academics, let alone the general public. So far, I’ve been able to locate one book from 1991, and several academic journal articles from 1945 that were specifically devoted to Jefferson’s agricultural activities. Being used to having multiple sources about figures like “Farmer” George Washington at my fingertips, it seemed very inconsistent that so little research exists for the contributions that affect our daily lives even now in 2019.

It would be fascinating to see what “Farmer” Thomas Jefferson’s agricultural journals hold. Certainly with a growing increase in non-chemical methods of agricultural, it would be of interest to see at least where the current no-till planting practices developed from.

Who knows? It may take a book to hold them all.

Barbara McEwan,Thomas Jefferson: Farmer, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 1991).

Agricultural History, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1945.

Jessica Michonski has a B.S. in Agriculture and History with plans of becoming an agricultural historian. She previously interned at Howell Living History Farm and Old Sturbridge Village, concentrating on the agricultural presentations of both. She also presented a session at the 2017 Annual Conference called “Wanted: Young Employees.”

Following some conversations the author found the following additional source:

M. L. Wilson, “Thomas Jefferson – Farmer”, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 87, No. 3, Bicentennial of Thomas Jefferson (Jul. 14, 1943), pp. 216-222.

Blog editor Martha Katz-Hyman did a little digging and found the following sources on Jefferson’s agricultural work for those interested in more information.

Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, with commentary and relevant extracts from other writings; ed. by Edwin Morris Betts (Charlottesville, VA: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1999; originally published in 1953). The blog author found a transcription of the Farm Book online at the Massachusetts Historical Society. You can access it here:

Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766-1824, with relevant extracts from his other writings; ed. by Edwin Morris Betts; Peter J. Hatch (Charlottesville, VA: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 2012; originally published in 1944).

Posted in Agricultural Museum, ALHFAM, Education, Historic Agriculture, Historic Farming, historic houses, interpretation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Have Actors, Will Travel!: Reconnecting Hawaiʻi and New England through the Humanities

by Mike Smola

Moses Goods portraying Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia
Photo Credit: Gina Maeda

Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives has spent the last eight years developing a very successful History Theater program through our Oʻahu Cemetery Pupu Theatre program. These are first-person, scripted portrayals of actual historical figures from Hawaiian history. The last several years of the program, Hawaiian Mission Houses (HMH) has had sold-out performances and had to expand the program from two to three weekends. HMH has also begun to partner with museums, churches, and community groups to travel these portrayals to Maui, Kauai, and Hawaiʻi Island. From September 29 to October 23, 2019, “My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia,” with a companion Hawaiian cultural program performed by musician and vocalist Poʻai Lincoln, the Cultural Programs Coordinator at HMH, will be travelling to New England and Washington, D.C. to reconnect the historical ties between New England and Hawaiʻi through the story of ʻŌpūkahaʻia.

Poʻai Lincoln, Cultural Programs Coordinator, Musician, Vocalist Photo Credit: Brandon Hagio

Theater and dramatic presentations coupled with other humanities fields such as anthropology, ethnography, music, literature, and history, can be a very powerful method of interpretation and education. HMH has certainly found this to be true through its own program. In the words of a theater reviewer in Honolulu, “It’s entertaining, educational without being didactic, and an engaging introduction to important figures in Hawaii’s history.” The key, HMH has found, is the inclusion of verbatim quotes from primary source research material rewoven by talented scriptwriters. As the HMH staff is fond of telling guests, “We don’t have to put words in these peoples’ mouths, because we have them through the use of letters, diaries, and newspaper stories– we use their own words.” This is something the HMH staff and the audience feel make the portrayals authentic and real in ways that a normal theater production might not.

ʻŌpūkahaʻia (later given the name Henry), was a Native Hawaiian born during King Kamehameha the Great’s wars of unification that would unify all of the islands into a single kingdom. His immediate family was killed during a rebellion against Kamehameha’s rule. ʻŌpūkahaʻia was taken captive but later given to his uncle. He left Hawaiʻi in 1807 aboard an American merchant ship. The journey took about two years to New Haven, Connecticut. In New Haven, ʻŌpūkahaʻia fell in with a group of Yale students connected to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in Boston. ʻŌpūkahaʻia converted to Christianity and toured New England to gain support for the American Board’s efforts. ʻŌpūkahaʻia was a powerful public speaker, and his efforts led to the formation of the Sandwich Islands Mission. This mission set sail in October 1819 and arrived in Hawaiʻi in April 1820 with seven American couples, five children, and four Native Hawaiians who had attended the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut. The changes in Hawaiian government, society, and culture over the next 70 years would largely come about due to the relationships between the Hawaiian royalty and these missionaries in the first 35 years of the Sandwich Islands Mission.

The history theater programs are always followed by a “talk back session” that involves the actors, theater director, and Hawaiian Mission Houses staff. This where the different fields in the humanities intersect and really come to life. This part of the program is also where the interesting discussions of history and the different aspects of theater are really considered and discussed with the guests in a relaxed and welcoming environment that promotes discussion about the program they’ve just experienced.

“My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia “will be touring the east coast to churches with historical connections to the missionaries and ʻŌpūkahaʻia, museums, living history sites such as ALHFAM members Old Sturbridge Village, the D.A.R. Museum, universities such as Yale and Williams College, and organizations such as the American Antiquarian Society and the Congregational Archives at 14 Beacon Street in Boston. There will also be discussion programs funded by MassHumanities featuring scholars from Massachusetts and Hawaiʻi to unpack the nuances and impacts of this one Hawaiian man’s journey that led to massive changes in his homeland. For a performance schedule and more information visit

Mike Smola is the Curator of Public Programs at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives and is the researcher for the History Theater programs. He has been an ALHFAM member since 2011 and served on the ALHFAM Board from 2016 to 2019.

Photo Credit: Pacific Edge Magazine
Posted in ALHFAM, Education, historic houses, Living History, Museums | 1 Comment

Colonial Cooking: When THEY Won’t Let You Use the Hearth

Excerpt of an article written by Clarissa F. Dillon, 2003, Past Masters in Early American Domestic Arts, Haverford, Pennsylvania.

ALHFAM members can access the full text of this article and thousands more though the A.S.K. database. Not a member? Join today!


Courtesy DAR Museum

There are many reasons why some colonial cooks are faced with sites that won’t let them use the hearth. Through the presentation of period food preparations, even without a fire, visitors can perhaps go away with a greater understanding of lives of people in the past as well as an appreciation of their skills.


Cucumbers were usually pickled to last until the next harvest. Most pickling receipts called for heating the vinegar before pouring it over the prepared fruit, but it is possible to find some that worked “cold.”

The best Way to pickle Cucumbers

Take the least Cucumbers, rub them well, and put them in a Pot or Barrel, then put in a Round or Layer of Dill or Fennel Seed in Branches, and upon that a Layer of Cucumbers so as not to touch one another; strew on them some Ginger, Mace, and Cloves finely beaten, some whole Pepper, and a little Salt; then lay in another Layer of each, and fill up the Pot with white Wine or Elder Vinegar. This Pickle serves for Grapes, or other Things.[1]


Dairying is an excellent activity for “cooking without a fire.” If you have a program that goes on all morning, churning can be the first step in a more complex preparation. After making and paddling butter until it is completely clear of buttermilk, you can move on to an odd but evidently desirable eighteenth-century dish. You’ll need to bring two hard-boiled eggs with you.

To make Fairy Butter.

TAKE the Yolks of two hard Eggs, and beat them in a Marble-mortar, with a large Spoonful of Orangeflower Water, and two Tea Spoonfuls of fine Sugar beat to Powder; beat this all together till it is a fine Past[e], then mix it up with about as much fresh Butter out of the Churn, and force it thro’ a fine Strainer full of little Holes into a Plate. This is a pretty Thing to set off a Table at Supper.[2]

Grinding Spices With a Cannonball— No, Really!

If pounded in a mortar with a pestle, peppercorns bounce out all over the place. Grinding, a circular movement with pressure, is better. With a cannonball, spices can be pulverized in a small wooden dish quickly and effectively. By rolling it under the palm of your hand, you can “grind” the peppercorns using the weight of the cannonball with very little effort on your part. You can also hang a small iron pot from the crane, which has been swung out into the room, put the spice(s) in it, and then put in the cannonball. By gently rocking the pot back and forth, you make the cannonball go round and round, pulverizing the contents, again with very little effort on your part. There are period references to this: “Note, That the Seeds are pounded in a Mortar; or bruis’d with a polish’d Cannon-Bullet, in a large wooden Bowl-Dish.”[3]

This is an excerpt of an article that first appeared as: Clarissa F. Dillon, “Colonial Cooking: When THEY Won’t Let You Use the Hearth” in Debra A. Reid, ed., Proceedings of the 2003 ALHFAM Conference & Annual Meeting, 119-133.

[1] Martha Bradley, The British Housewife:- in 2 vols (London: printed by S. Crowder and H. Woodgate… [1756]; facsimile reprint in 6 vols by Prospect Books, Tomes, UK, 1998), Vol. IV, p. 574.

[2] Glasse, op. cit., p. 142. There is a very similar receipt, using twice as much of the ingredients, called “French Butter” in Smith, op. cit., p. 101. Her final instructions do differ: “…when it is well mix’d force it thro’ the corner of a coarse cloth, in little heaps on a china-plate, or through the top of a dredging-box.”

[3] John Evelyn, Acetaria. (London: Printed for B. Tooke…1699; facsimile reprint by Prospect Books, London, 1981), p. 102. Cf. Nott, op. cit., n.p. [M 72} and R. Bradley, op. cit. [Part II], p. 36.

Posted in ALHFAM, Farm Museum, food, growing food, historic houses, interpretation, Living History, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Safe Handling of Objects

Written by Jamie Rigsby, Farmers Branch Historical Park, 2010.   ALHFAM members can access the full text of this article and thousands more though the A.S.K. database. Not a member? Join today!

Few museums or living history sites have conservators on staff. Therefore, the first line of defense to prevent or suspend damage to artifacts are the curators, collections managers, interpreters or any other person on staff who comes into proximity of the collection. Most of the damage caused to works of art is preventable, and good handling and storage techniques can make a big difference in the preservation of a collection.

DAR Museum

DAR Museum

Before handling any object, here are a few questions to consider:

  1. Is it necessary/safe to move the object?
  2. Where are you going?
  3. What is the best way to pick it up?
  4. Do you have the right equipment/manpower to move it?

The Three Main Factors of Objects Handling: You, The Environment, and The Object


  • Remove jewelry, name tags, belts or anything that could scratch or catch on an object.
  • Pull back hair and loose clothing that could get caught on an object.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Wear gloves. White cotton gloves are appropriate for most handling procedures. Use nitrile gloves when moving objects with slick surfaces like glass or ceramics, or any surface that could catch on or attract cotton fibers such as fragile paper or veneered wood.
  • Keep your gloves clean, and try not to touch anything but the object you are moving. Be careful not to touch your face or hair as you may transfer oils to an object.
  • Use both hands and move slowly.
  • Update inventory records immediately.

The Environment

  • Plan the route you are going to take from one place to another.
  • Measure doorways or narrow spaces to be sure the object will pass through easily.
  • Make a place for the object to avoid having to move something else while the object is in your hands.
  • Move any tripping hazards or things that you could bump into on the way to the new space.
  • No plants, food, drinks, or smoking in the collections area.
  • Use pencils, not pens, when working near collections, as pencil marks are often easier to remove than ink.

The Object

  • Treat each object you handle like it is the only one in existence.
  • Find the center of gravity of an object and use both hands to move it.
  • Move any parts (i.e. lid to a teapot) separately.
  • Stabilize any loose components (i.e. doors on a cabinet).
  • Don’t pick up any object by handles, rails, or rims.
  • Use carts to move objects or boxes whenever possible.
  • Don’t push, pull, or drag any object across a surface.

Sometimes being thorough and methodical can do more for your collection than spending money on state-of-the-art equipment. As with the medical field, the first rule of conservation is “Do no harm.” Beyond that, do the best you can!

This is an excerpt of an article that first appeared as: Jamie Rigsby, “Caring for Collections with a Small Budget, Little Time and Limited Staffing: The Safe Handling and Storage of Objects” in Carol Kennis Lopez, ed., Proceedings of the 2010 ALHFAM Conference & Annual Meeting, 131-135.

Posted in ALHFAM, Care of collections, historic houses, Living History Museum, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sainte Marie among the Hurons, Part 2


The Jesuit priests could be found at various villages of the Wendat on any given day, conducting services, and teaching and preaching Catholicism with the help of various Donnes who signed contracts with the Jesuit order for work in exchange for food shelter and clothing.

In the later years of Sainte Marie, an increasing threat from the Iroquois in Wendat territory began to make its mark. This threat was compounded by a drought and crop failures. The increasing effects of disease began to weaken the Wendat to the point where the Wendat confederacy not only lost its people but its overall strength as well.

During the spring of 1649, Fathers Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant lost their lives to Iroquois attack and torture, and their bodies were returned to Sainte Marie by several Donnes for burial. Donne and Shoemaker Christophe Ragneoult described the condition of the bodies. He reported that one of tortures might well have been a mock baptism with boiling water.

The Wendat, fearing more attacks, prepared to head north to safer territories, but the Jesuits convinced the Wendat leadership that a journey north to Manitoulin Island was too far and very dangerous. It was decided that all would leave, both French and Wendat, and head to the nearest island some twenty-five miles distant to establish a new mission there. But before they left, they decided to destroy Sainte Marie by fire.

This was a very difficult decision for all to make, as the Jesuits and the workers had put ten years into the building process. Father Paul Ragueneau stated, “And thus in a single day and almost in a moment we saw our work of nearly ten years consumed by fire.” The feelings and emotions of the men who labored to build the mission can only be imagined.

The French and Wendat attempted to reestablish the mission community of Sainte Marie but the Jesuits only remained in the territory for one more year. Crop failure and starvation proved to be too difficult to overcome, and the Jesuits decided, after much debate, to return to Quebec. They extended an invitation to the Wendat to journey back with them and settle in Quebec. Some 500 to 600 agreed, and the remainder, barely a thousand, promised to join them but never did. They instead joined another group known as the Petun, who abandoned the territory and travelled west, ending up in Kansas to become what is now known as the Wyandot.

With the mission of Sainte Marie gone and the peoples dispersed, the grounds that Sainte Marie was built upon stood empty. Early settlers in what is now Simcoe County knew that there was something of significance at this place, and they called it “the old French ruins.”

In 1855 Jesuit priest Felix Martin conducted very minor excavations of the site and found several artifacts, one of which was a seventeenth-century trade axe. Kenneth Kidd conducted more in-depth excavations for the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto in 1941. His work continued until 1943, when funding for his explorations ran out. Work continued later between the years 1947 to 1951 by Wilfred Jury, the curator of the Museum of Indian Archaeology, University of Western Ontario.

Work began in earnest on the reconstruction in 1964, continuing under the direction of Wilfred Jury until 1967, when the work was completed. Even during excavations, visitation by the public was common place.


There have been many changes at today’s Sainte Marie among the Hurons. The beginnings of the interpretive program took shape early in the very early 1970s with the introduction of interpreters in period clothing. An agreement was reached with our neighbor, the Martyrs Shrine, which stands on a hill directly across the highway from us. It was agreed that young Jesuit novitiates would don the long black robes of the Jesuit and interpret to the masses of people that began to come through the gates.

Interpretations of the reconstructed site expanded and improved with ongoing investigations in areas that dealt with the physical buildings as well as the original personnel that inhabited Sainte Marie. This included research that included lifestyles, biographical information on the men, and aspects of their daily lives, such as what they wore from day to day.

A giant step for Sainte Marie’s interpretation program came in the form of its Indigenous program. A multi-talented man named Bill Parker from the Algonquin tribe was hired, and he was able to use archaeological finds as sources for recreating early Huron pottery. In 1984 several Ojibway women were hired to be seasonal interpreters in full period clothing. These women became the basis for the programs we have developed and built over the years since.

Today we are pleased to have an average of 27,000 school students visit us yearly, with an average general public visitation of 75,000 people from all parts of the globe.


Your visit will include free-flow touring as well as some in-depth special presentations that may include traditional fire-starting techniques to our very own ALHFAM people doing sessions right on site.

An evening program with a sleep-over will be part of our program, with some traditional foods from the time period and a chance to enjoy some friendly conversations about our history both past and present and, indeed, some spookiness.

The incredible story of Sainte Marie among the Hurons was then and continues to be a big attraction. People have come from all parts of the world to see and experience this part of Canada’s early history. Visitors have included many important people over the years from Pope John Paul II in 1984 to famous actors like James Avery (Uncle Phil of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and even royalty.

And now the most famous of all: ALHFAM in June 2019! Welcome to a Rendezvous in Time!



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