300 Years is a long time!

5 Sep

This year Joppatowne will celebrate the 300th anniversary of its charter by Queen Anne, and the 50th anniversary of its re-establishment as the planned community of plain old Joppa.

The church we attend is a “descendent” of the original Copley Parish (it moved around to follow the population), and we will be having a Home and Garden tour on the 9th, as well as a Colonial Tea Room, and an Even Song service from the 1692 Book of Common Prayer. We didn’t really have much to put in the large display case at the library, so I borrowed two dressmakers dummies, and took along Miss Martha from my teaching kit, and we made do.

As I was setting up the female mannikin, a lady asked me who she was supposed to be, and I – always the smart aleck – replied, “Marie Antoinette”.  Blank look. I finally explained the historical connection, and the clothing on all three “people” was representative of the way folks would have dressed when Joppatowne was a bustling seaport.

The man’s vest looks particularly weird because I have lost an entire plastic tub of male clothing. Lacking a proper vest and shirt for the poor fellow, I used one  of The Squires dress shirts, and a detachable stock, then folded a silk Royal Gordan tartan scarf, safety pinned thistle buttons in the center, and then pulled and pinned until it looked reasonably presentable, albeit a tad wonky. I pinned his stockings up inside his breeches, but they obviously need to be stuffed with something, and put a pair of my shoes on his feet. They’re a loooong way from authentic, but wear ’em, George, and don’t argue.

The family at homeIf moving that bloody display case wasn’t such an ordeal, I’d put Miss Martha inside it, just as a precaution.

This is how they looked in the living room, before I took them to the library. Martha is about the size of a three year old. I had a grand time putting her into the seat of a shopping cart at Target, and taking her off to buy shoes. Fortunately, the sales clerk got into the spirit of the thing, and complimented me on how well behaved my little girl was! I really wanted loafers, but we settled on black Mary Janes.  Wear ’em and don’t argue! Actually, with the odd shape of her feet, I’m not sure loafers would have stayed on, anyway, so it’s just as well.

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