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RESTORATION PURISTS UNCOVER TAVERN
Veterans of four previous restorations, Ray and Janet Carney decided to head south for warmer winters and found a late-1700s National Register house to restore in Pittsboro, North Carolina. As a bonus, they discovered it was the town’s oldest tavern.
Native Americans and the earliest European settlers found myriad uses for the towering tree that covered nearly a quarter of America’s eastern forests. They used its timbers for homes, fencing, and furniture and found that its nuts were both delicious and nutritious.
Ancient beasties and superstitions brought from Europe coalesced in the 19th Century to become America’s second most popular holiday, though the candy containers and decorations designed to celebrate Hallowe’en have a much shorter history.
FANTASTIC FOOT BATHS
The practice of bathing one’s feet dates back millennia in China, though the decorated ceramic tubs modern decorators find so appealing originated in England before Chinese potters decided to create their own porcelain versions in the later 1800s.
NATIVE BASKET STYLES RETURN
A woman living in rural Virginia wove a group of baskets that bear a striking resemblance to the 19th-Century work of Native American tribes in Connecticut. She might never have seen the originals but helped keep the decorating traditions alive.
Black pepper seems an odd ingredient to use in a dessert cake. We traced the roots of Martha Washington’s ancestral recipe and discovered that the real ingredient was Jamaican allspice, imported to America before black pepper was commonplace.
MORE THAN STITCHES
Curator Ivey delved into Colonial Williamburg’s extensive textile collection to find examples of schoolgirl samplers, bed rugs and hangings, petticoats, and other objects that explore cultural, geographical, and religious differences among the makers of these early objects.
Jeanmarie Andrews and Kimberly Smith Ivey
IN GOOD HANDS
After educating several generations of woodworkers, Roy Underhill is closing up his renowned Woodwright’s Shop in North Carolina to pursue other projects. But at 72, the champion of hand tools and traditional building techniques has no thoughts of retiring.
J. Eric Braun
COZYING UP TO AUTUMN
Welcome cooler temperatures with a hand-woven artisan blanket, a good book, and a cup of tea.
The original central staircase in Ray and Janet Carney’s North Carolina house informed several restoration decisions—for instance, they used carved details on the newel post and panels to re-create a fireplace mantel. Photograph by J. Eric Braun.