We apologize for not having any new posts the past couple of weeks. Michael just finished his twenty-third manuscript, and those last couple of weeks before he turns in something are filled full of reading and editing and re-reading. It is just a crazy time.
Being interpreters always has its opportunities for something a little different. A few weeks ago, the fine folks at the Historic Carson House in McDowell County, North Carolina, put out a call for help. They needed interpreters to come and help with the filming of a PR video. We spent a Thursday and Friday at the site, helping out. On Thursday, we were well dressed. I was portraying Colonel Carson, and Elizabeth and Isabella were fashionable ladies of the 1860s. In addition to providing some of the narration, Elizabeth depicted some typical activities, including needlework and supervising children. Isabella also took part in depicting a school scene, playing, and letter-writing. They also joined a local traditional musician for a scene of singing along with one of Elizabeth’s favorite murder ballads, “The Dreadful Wind and Rain,” also known as “The Cruel Sister” and “The Twa Corbies,” among other titles.
On Friday, we showed up in our 18th century kits in the morning, and changed into our mid-19th century common folks clothes for the afternoon. We do believe that was a first for us – three different sets of historical clothing in two days (plus, it took a day to hang everything back up!). Nate made a fine long-hunter stalking along the riverbank, and Isabella and Elizabeth did some of their plant gathering and preserving as part of the film. Though we have volunteered at the site before, this was certainly a different experience! There were many super volunteers who helped out, including re-enactors, demonstrators, and junior historians. The staff and volunteers took good care of us all, and the film crew was great.
The Historic Carson House is a wonderful site! It is located between Marion and Old Fort on US 70. Construction started on the house in 1793. The house is three stories tall and has many rooms, most of which are open and feature great exhibits. For many years, the house was a stagecoach stop and inn. Among the guests were Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and Andrew Jackson. Locals gathered at the home in 1843 and organized Mitchell County at the Carson House. It is a valuable piece of local history and is nicely preserved.
In 1964, the Historic Carson House opened as a museum and library and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The 200+ year old home is full of antiques, mostly depicting life in the mid-19th century. They do several events every year, such as an annual Civil War reenactment (coming up in July), and a Overmountain Men event in September. There are concerts at the house and in the nice pavilion on site. The Historic Carson House is well worth a visit.
Michael really likes the variety and quantity of the collection – especially the military items, and the dandy top hat on the second floor. Elizabeth enjoys the beautiful collection of domestic items, including clothing from various eras of the house’s long life. In addition to enjoying playing “ghost” any chance she gets at this site, Isabella loves the antique dolls, including the one she got to rock for part of the filming. Nathaniel was interested in the great outdoor buildings, particularly the large barn with excellent antique blacksmith equipment that was used doing the filming.
We hope you’ll get the chance to stumble along to the Carson House soon!