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DISCOVER THE 18TH-CENTURY PLANTATION

 
 

People from the Past

Gunstonian playing Mason family
Photo by Jack L. Hiller

Gunston Hall’s living history players, The Gunstonians, attempt to bring the past to life. For the past 16 years, the Gunstonians have portrayed everyone from George Mason, his family and friends, to servants and slaves.   Through their portrayals during special events and tours, the Gunstonians bring their in-depth understanding of the 18th century to visitors to help them understand the 18th century.

The Gunstonians are students of political history, military history, social history, agricultural history, foodways, language, music and dance, spinning and other domestic chores.

Meet the Gunstonians ...

Mason family and plantation workers:

George Mason

George Mason V of Lexington    

Sarah Brent Mason

Nancy Mason

The Dance Mistress 

Mr. Green, an overseer

Mrs. Fletcher, the housekeeper

David Constable, the tutor


Visitors to Gunston Hall:

George Washington   

Richard Henry Lee  

Ann Thomson Mason

 

Gunston Hall Historic Foodways

Cooks in the Hearth Kitchen

The Gunston Hall Historic Foodways program welcomes the public to experience cooking demonstrations and classes over our open hearth.  Come join us!  You’ll find many of our future programs listed in our Calendar of Events section of our web site.

What is open hearth cooking?  At Gunston Hall, veteran cooks trained in 18th century food preparation, preservation, serving and eating rituals of the era participate in cooking demonstrations and classes in the historic open hearth kitchen just outside the Gunston Hall mansion.  Since the start of the program in June 1984, the Gunston Hall Docents’ Association Historic Foodways program has grown in popularity, keeping authentic cooking techniques, equipment and 18th century receipts (recipes) alive and available to adults as well as area school children who visit Gunston Hall throughout the year.

Each season, we hope to offer samples of receipts from published cookbooks dating to the 18th century.  Here are two from Hannah Glasse from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy (1747).

Enroll in a Hearth Cooking Class

Food

Gunston Hall’s highly-regarded Historic Foodways Program offers intimate hearth cooking classes for the novice to expert.  Give the gift of a cooking class for a birthday or holiday or reserve a private class for friends.  For a modest fee, Gunston Hall Foodways staff will work with museums to establish or broaden a hearth cooking program.

Open-Hearth Cooking Class, Level I
Saturday, October 30 or Sunday, October 31 • 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.   

Acquire the basics of 18th-century hearth cooking.   Employ traditional cooking techniques and recipes to make period dishes.  Offered in partnership with Fairfax County Adult and Community Education program. 

$119 fee includes tuition and materials.  Register for class HI03881 by phone at 703-658-1201 or online at www.fcps.edu/aceclasses.  For information, call 703-658-1222.

 
 
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