Caps and Boats and Lead Coffins: The ALHFAM Mid-Atlantic Region Conference in Review (and Photos!)

Wet attendees at The ALHFAM Mid-Atlantic region meeting April 1-2 at Historic St. Mary's City in Maryland.

Wet attendees at the ALHFAM Mid-Atlantic conference held April 1-2 at Historic St. Mary’s City in Maryland.

“I knew by mid-morning on Friday (in the deluge) that this was going to be the Mid-Atlantic ALHFAM conference that all others will be measured against for the next ten years. Because everyone who attended is going to be talking about it for at least that long – maybe longer. And those who didn’t attend, will wish they had.

Connie Unangst and Elyse Bennett work on ruffles during the "Making an 18th Century Cap" workshop

Connie Unangst and Elyse Bennett work on ruffles during the “Making an 18th Century Cap” workshop

Deanna Berkemeier gets a cap fitting at the 18th Century Cap workshop

Deanna Berkemeier gets a cap fitting at the 18th Century Cap workshop

HSMC is a beautiful, amazing site with inspiring attention to detail (hmmm, that concept of applying academic rigor and review to interpretive/education collections – wish more sites would do that) and talented, dedicated, incredibly helpful and welcoming staff, supported by a strong administration who GETS IT. It’s the full package. Plus, it’s a mecca for archaeology – those lead coffins!!

Tour of the HSMC archeology lab

Tour of the HSMC archeology lab

And the St. John’s site exhibition! The food was excellent, thanks to the college catering program, and provided delicious and inventive non-meat options. We had a chance to brainstorm ideas for the “currently under revision” student Science tour (and drop things from a balcony to learn about mass and gravity); tour the ship Dove with the boatswain’s (bosun’s) mate; see archaeologists at work in the lab and visit with some of the most highly-regarded archeologists in the country; check out staff fleshing a deer hide and preparing it for brain-tanning; and take a thoroughly adults-only themed tour – with several highly entertaining, participatory elements – of the Godiah Spray Plantation. And that was just Friday.

Susan McLellan Plaisted led the Hearth Cooking workshop

Susan McLellan Plaisted led the Hearth Cooking workshop and  . . .

Felicia Brooks in the hearth

. . . Felicia Brooks participated

Sam Pratt, HSMC site supervisor of the Woodland Indian Hamlet, giving a hide tanning demonstration

Sam Pratt, HSMC site supervisor of the Woodland Indian Hamlet, giving a hide tanning demonstration

Helena Cora Moran participating in the Early Sewing Machine workshop. Helena is also a volunteer at HSMC and helped set up and take down the machines for the workshop.

Helena Cora Moran participating in the Early Sewing Machine workshop. Helena is also a volunteer at HSMC and helped set up and take down the machines for the workshop.

The Dove

The Dove

The whole experience was wrapped in ALHFAM’s traditional collegiality and great networking, and served with well-presented, applicable sessions. Well done, and sincere thanks.

Carrie Fellows

Regional Co-Representative

Mid-Atlantic Region

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