Victorian Crafts & Hobbies@Beekman House

How did people pass their time before Social Media, Television and Radio?  Historic Jacksonville, Inc. and local craft guilds and hobbyists are presenting Victorian Day of Hobbies & Crafts from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday, June 16, at the 1873 Beekman House Museum located at 470 E. California Street in Jacksonville.

“The Industrial Revolution meant increased leisure time for most upper and middle class Victorians,” explains Carolyn Kingsnorth, President of Historic Jacksonville, Inc.  “But leisure did not mean idleness.  Far from it!  The ‘work ethic’ was the core value of the Industrial Revolution.  To forestall the mischief that Satan found for idle hands, you were expected to use your leisure time to pursue something useful and productive—that was also recuperative and relaxing.  In other words, you found a hobby.”

For most Victorians, hobbies basically fell into two categories—collecting and crafts.  During 1-hour house tours that begin about every 15 minutes, Victorian costumed docents will talk about popular hobbies of the late 1800s and the Beekmans’ personal collections and crafts.  The Beekman House was home to the most prominent and wealthiest family in Jacksonville.  The Beekmans were skilled, they were talented, and they traveled extensively, collecting souvenirs from their many travels.

Multiple hobbies and crafts will be well represented during the event.  Lawn and Carriage House demonstrations and displays will feature the Jacksonville Museum Quilters, the Rogue Valle

y Hand Weavers Guild, and other local craft guilds and hobbyists.

Quilting was an excellent excuse for socialized sewing in the Victorian Era,” Kingsnorth points out.  “The Jacksonville Museum Quilters will have quilts on display and be demonstrating hand quilting and appliqué.  Julia Beekman was an excellent seamstress, and there are examples of her embroidery, tatting, and quilting throughout the house for visitors to see and hear about during the tours.”  She continues, “Dog breeding was also a passionate Victorian hobby and a docent will be on hand with her King Charles Spaniel to greet visitors.  And there are more crafts, collections, and a few surprises!”

Victorian Hobbies & Crafts is just one of the events planned for the Beekman House Museum this summer.  Historic Jacksonville, Inc., will be opening the house every Saturday through September with a variety of Victorian Days, 1932 Living History, and “Beekman Family Life” tours.  Additional information is available at www.historicjacksonville.org.

The C.C. Beekman House is located at 470 E. California Street in Jacksonville.  Parking is available on site.  Victorian Hobby tours are $5; lawn activities are free.  For additional information, call 541-245-3650 or e-mail info@historicjacksonville.org.

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