#33: Visit Historic Fort Snelling (Part 5)

After the Learning Lab, the tour transitioned from 2013 high-tech to 1863 high-society:

01_manners sign

A “proper Victorian lady” explained some of the important points of manners in the 1860s – including which chairs were appropriate to sit in.  (I.e., men sat in chairs with arms, women sat in chairs that did not have arms. You can see an “armless” chair behind the woman below.)

02_manners instructor

An authentic relic from nearly two centuries ago.  While the language may be slightly dated, I think the message remains relevant:


The bedroom of Mary Snelling (the child who created the sampler shown above).  This space reminded me exactly of the bedrooms I saw at the Ramsey house.

04_child bedroom

When I got to the upper level of the Fort Snelling home, I was surprised to enter this room:

05_empty room1 06_empty room2

Apparently the question that immediately popped into my mind has been asked by many others:

07_furniture sign

Though it’s difficult (impossible?) to tell from the above pictures, the air quality in the empty wood rooms was poor.  Even though the outdoors yielded a perfect mild summer day (a wonderful breeze coming from the nearby Mississippi River, incredibly comfortable temps in the mid 70s, clear skies and encouraging sunshine [truly a perfect day for this outing]), the air in these rooms was still very stuffy stifling, uncomfortably warm, and unpleasant in general.  A mom walking through the space with her teenage child commented, “…and just think, back in the 1800s this room didn’t have heat or air conditioning – and people slept here.  I bet they got very cold in the winter and hot in the summer…” Ugh.  I can’t even begin to imagine.  At this moment in the tour I began to really feel a tiny bit of how genuinely challenging life was back during Civil War times…

Returning to the main level of the home, I walked to an adjacent room and saw:


A display of the most common items worn by “ladies” during these Victorian times:


And an authentic machine that was responsible for creating them.

03_sewing machine

When I saw this image I immediately thought of my mom; she had a similar machine when I was a kid. (She also had a fancy modern machine that she used as her primary sewing tool.)

Leaving the family home, I walked next door to a smaller residence where married officers lived:


Modest and plain, but also quietly proud.

Modest and plain, but also quietly proud.

The last stop on this section of the tour was a quick look at a more advanced form of communication than what we saw earlier in the day:


The re-enactor at this site had a copy of the Morse Code alphabet (which he is holding in his hand), and had couples stand in separate rooms and try to send messages to one another.  It’s not as easy as it might seem….


[Click here to continue reading about the Civil War tour.]


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
This entry was posted in 101 in 1001, day zero project, postaday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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