Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It Happened at the Calico Frolic

What did I do last weekend? A phrase I don't get to utter often, "I went to a Calico Frolic!" (where I so admired the lovely dresses of frolic goers). Thank you Bergen County Historical Society.

From the BCHS web site:

"In its plainest form, calico was known as muslin. But the name also applied to cheap, lightweight and often colored cotton fabric, named for Callicut (Kozhikode), its Indian port of origin. By the early eighteenth century, European printing houses succeeded in imitating multicolored Indian fabrics, producing painted, woodblock printed and penciled patterns in cheerful designs.

Women who could little afford fine silks turned calico into homemade finery, including gowns, bodices, petticoats, jackets and bonnets. These they wore to country "frolics," which were light-hearted neighborhood gatherings, rich in opportunities for gossip and matchmaking, held before harvest or whenever a communal workforce engaged in barn raising, spinning or husking bees."

Thomas and Anne Ridley were our music makers.

Hitting the hardwood. I know some more modern dances like hustle and West Coast Swing, but this was my very first time with this type of dancing, which I'm told was English country dancing.

Let's go to the Black Horse Tavern for some refreshments.

Strawberry punch after for thirsty dancers.

I adore blue and white patterned things, which reminds me of my grandparent's house in Switzerland when I was little.

I considered how many disposable dishes are around in modern life. Can you imagine if it had always been that way and we were now the generations suffering from the wasteful ways of earlier society?

Admiring the craftsmanship of the pottery adorning the lovely names, "Molly" and "Sally," as well as reflecting on the scriptwriting. Too much beauty is being lost in our digital and modern ages.

History notes from a plaque:

"For the first six months prior to the Declaration of Independence, Americans rallying to the cause of independence raised the Continental Colors, a banner with thirteen red-and-white stripes and the British Union Flag for its canton. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress resolved, "that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white and blue in field, representing a new constellation." Francis Hopkins, of Bordentown, New Jersey, is credited with designing the first United States flag, taking the short but significant step from the first Continental Congress to the first stars and stripes. No original version survives."

Gazing at the lamp in the Dutch Out Kitchen. Do you ever feel like you lived in a different era? I sometimes do.


  1. This is so charming. I wish we had one of these where I lived.

  2. Hi. It is! They have so many great events to bring history alive. Their next one in August is for the ancient Algonquian celebration of Winu gischuch, the Ripe Corn Moon. I like to cover the events I attend so you can come along too! Thanks for the comment.