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HANDIWORK ON THE MAIN STREET
Ronnie and Susan Derrow moved into a historic house with an attached shop in western Virginia decades ago. Combining his imagination and woodworking skills and her green thumb, they’ve created a welcoming home, an eye-catching garden, and a whimsical antiques business.
South Carolina’s port city invites visitors inside architecturally stunning private homes and gardens filled with blazing azalea blossoms and moss-draped live oaks tucked behind iron gates. Sunny and temperate, springtime is the best time to visit Charleston, especially this year, as the city celebrates its 350th anniversary.
BARN FULL OF TREASURES
Behind its stone vestibule and period-style clapboards, the home Ron and Sherry Fedor fashioned in northeast Ohio opens to lofty rooms that showcase the posts and beams used to build the barn it once was. Colorful folk art helps create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
PHRENOLOGY: THE SCIENCE OF THE MIND
Scientific efforts to understand how the mind works by sensing a person’s “mental
organs”—areas on the skull that indicate abilities, skills, and personality—attracted thousands of followers in 19th-Century America. A practical phrenologist tells us how the practice helped pave the way for modern psychology.
A VISIT TO ANNAPOLIS
Founded in 1649, Maryland’s eminently walkable seaport capital offers the largest collection of 18th-Century brick homes in the country. Add the country’s first brick theater, historic inns, museums, boating, and signature cuisine based on fresh-caught crabs and oysters, and it’s hard to resist a visit.
Lawyer, patriot, delegate to the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Maryland’s third governor, William Paca meant his Georgian mansion in Annapolis to impress. The curator of the National Historic Landmark takes us through its opulent interiors and gardens.
PRESERVING PAINTED TREASURES
Americans came late to an appreciation for paint-decorated plaster walls of 19th-Century New England homes. The Center for Painted Wall Preservation, founded in 2015, seeks to heighten awareness of these folk art treasures and develop the best methods for preserving them.
Linda Carter Lefko
GUMBO: AN EARLY AMERICAN OKRA STEW
Okra, introduced to American palates by enslaved Africans, is the key ingredient in the celebrated gumbos of Southern cuisine. But today’s versions bear little resemblance to the simple okra and tomato stew that residents of Charleston and New Orleans ate in the early 1700s.
Robert F. Moss
IN SMALL THINGS REMEMBERED
As part of Plymouth Colony’s 400th anniversary celebration, the home site of Mayflower survivors John and Priscilla Mullins Alden hosts an exhibition of 17th-Century artifacts and reproductions created from them. Together they offer a window into the lives of the colony’s earliest settlers.
A red-flowering peach tree adorns the elegant entryway of Judge Robert Pringle’s three-storey Georgian home, built by the Scottish merchant in 1774 on Charleston’s Tradd Street. Photograph by Richard Spencer, courtesy of
Historic Charleston Foundation, Inc.