First Families of Pennsylvania

Well it finally happened.  It was a long time coming, lots of research, but I finally made it into First Families of Pennsylvania through the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.  It is a wonderful program that honors the Pennsylvania ancestors and preserves your research.  There are 3 levels of participation:  Colony and Commonwealth: 1638-1790; Keystone and Cornerstone:  1791-1865; and Pennsylvania Proud:  1866-1900.  I was awarded a Colony and Commonwealth certificate for proving my 8th great grandmother, Sarah Shoemaker, came to Philadelphia in 1686, with her 7 children and bought 200 acres of land in Cheltenham area.  She must have been a very hardy soul.  Her son, George married Sarah Wall, who inherited a house from her grandfather, Richard Wall.  The Wall house still stands in Elkins Park, PA and is owned by Cheltenham Township.  You can tour the house on Sundays or just relax in their lawn any day.

What have you done lately to preserve your history?

18th Century Market Fair at Fort Frederick

Today a friend and I went to Big Pool, MD for the 17th annual Market Fair at Fort Frederick State Park.  What a wonderful time.  If you want to get back to the 18th century living, you shouldn’t miss this next year.  Everything has to be authentic.  No visible signs of this century.  The porta potties are behind a burlap wall so you can’t see them.  Credit card machines are out of sight.

Lots of people are in 18th century dress, buying 18th century clothing or dreaming of that next purchase.  The beautiful gowns, hats, shoes, etc for the women is so fun, I almost left reason behind and purchased a beautiful silk gown.  But where would I wear it?  I had a gown made for the PSSDAR State Conference Banquet, but it wasn’t truly authentic.  I had a zipper put in so I could dress myself at the banquet, since I didn’t have my trusty, Pal Al with me.

The men had even more to chose from.  They had wonderful handmade shoes, hats, coats, stockings, and guns.  I was surprised how much the men got into dressing as men of yore.  They had wonderful costumes from kilts to waistcoats and buckskins.  There was even a VERY authentic Native American walking about.

There were almost 150 vendors with everything you could want for your 18th century outfit or home.  Because this is a juried show, you can count on the authenticity of everything.  The seamstresses and taylors have studied for a long time to provide good quality products.

Can you tell I enjoyed myself?  Despite the threat of rain, the turn out was phenomenal.  Fort Frederick is a wonderful place to visit when there isn’t a Market Fair, they have plenty of activities coming up this summer.  Woodmont Open House May 14 & Sept 10, Colonial Children’s Day June 4th, Artillery Programs, French and Indian War Muster Aug. 27-28 and a ghost walk on Oct. 22nd.