Digging Deeper Tour
Curious about colonial cooking techniques and food? A new “Dinner with George Washington” Digging Deeper Tour will be offered at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Admission is $15 per person. Space is limited and advance-ticket purchase is recommended. For tickets visit: http://webb-deane-stevens.org/tour-tickets/.
Digging Deeper Tours are professionally curated, interactive, behind-the-scenes examinations of specific aspects of the lives of the former residents of the three homes that comprise the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum.
The tour will feature a guided exploration of the newly installed “Dinner with George Washington” exhibit in the Deane House, and an in-depth look at 18th-century and early 19th-century food, cooking tools, and meal preparation with seasoned WDS guides Linda Pagliuco and Elizabeth O’Brien in full colonial dress.
The exhibit is a special interpretation of a historic dinner held for General George Washington at the home of Silas and Elizabeth Deane on June 29, 1775. Using ingenious food-styling techniques and a great deal of research, WDS staff painstakingly recreated the sort of midday meal they believe Washington would have enjoyed at the Deane House using 1770s recipes that feature seasonal food available at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
WDS guides field a great many questions during tours of the museum’s three houses, but the queries really fly when visitors tour the historical kitchens. As such, the tour will also visit the Stevens House kitchen, sampling historical treats along the way. O’Brien adds that the tour is ideal for those who’ve always wanted to linger with more questions on historic foodways. “We’ll discuss the use of the kitchen tools in both houses in depth,” says O’Brien, “And compare kitchens and the cooking and eating habits of two time periods—the 1770s in Deane House, and the 1820s-30s in the Stevens House.”
The Stevens kitchen displays 18th-century kitchen tools which would have continued to be in use in the early 19th century, and “new” additions such as the tin-reflector oven standing on the hearth (c.1790). The Deane kitchen reflects the affluent status of its 18th century residents, replete with the latest colonial invention of a clock jack used to turn the spit on the hearth.
In the Stevens kitchen visitors will view the original Stevens family cookbook displayed on the kitchen table as O’Brien and Pagliuco flip through the pages and discuss the contents in depth—something never done during a regular tour. Printed historical recipes will be available for visitors to take, and historical cookbooks will be available in the Museum Shop for those newly inspired during the tour.
About the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum
Located in the heart of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum provides the quintessential New England experience – from the American Revolution to the early 20th century. Tours include the 1752 Joseph Webb House, where General George Washington met with French General Rochambeau and planned the military campaign leading to the end of the Revolutionary War, the 1770 Silas Deane House, built for America’s first diplomat to France, and the 1788 Isaac Stevens House, which depicts Connecticut life in the 18th and 19th centuries. For more information visit: www.webb-deane-stevens.org or call (860) 529-0612. Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WDSMUSEUM.