Monday, May 2, 2011

anachronism (2 of 2)

After the last post on my visit to Sovereign Hill, I still wanted to show you more!

The Drapery store I am sure I hadn't taken a good look in there my last visit, well before I was all into sewing and all. The quilts, the the bundles of fabric probably all shipped from London and America, the baskets of thread and the amazing gowns, purses, shawls and masks.
drapery department
Then there was the gentleman's section, top hats, waist coats, my husband nearly purchasing a real top hat but settling for an imitation, still wearing it round the place and almost wearing it out to see Michelle Shocked the other night. Now he's put a long, colorful band on it and is wearing it everywhere.

Our other favorite place on the day was the tiny school building, we sat in this classroom and saw what school was like back then. This was a fantastic experience, we all learned so much, without really noticing it. There were pens and pots of ink at all the little desks, and the kids got to practice writing with a quill pen.

The teacher was in part even when she spoke to the children as they presented their work to be marked. She's chat to them about what they wanted to do or be, and then tell them something about how it was there at that time. One boy said he wanted to be a doctor, and she told him how in "her time" they thought smells caused diseases, and that people would drink from the river that had rotting carcasses in it but would just hold their nose!
Gg Vv Bea

Bea was asked how old she was, whether she could sew, knit,cook and look after a baby, because at her age she'd have been doing all those things. She nodded and walked away pretty quiet, I hope thinking I'd better stay in school considering back then a husband was being found and a baby would be on the way by age fourteen.
"Could you look after a baby?"  ahhh yeh
Eliza waited so patiently with her little square of paper and her letters, I thought she was too cute. When she came away she told us how she would have looked after chickens, and how she would have collected their eggs, and how she'd lock them away at night so the foxes wouldn't get them. I love asking her again and again what her little three year old self would have done in the 1850's, I just want to hear it over and over.

I also was taken by the letters and the alphabet cards hanging from string, funny this could be in a magazine today, how stylishly simple. I am going to take this idea and make some for home I loved it so much.
one to tenGg to Zz
The signs that hung about the place were absolute gold, like the ones I photographed of No school today, my kids thought that was awesome.
No school today

Then there was the simple, soft rounded look to the benches, stools and tables, even the little chalk boards were lovely. I could only think of the philosophy of Steiner, the Shakers and their furniture and the modern local furniture designer Mark Tuckey and of how timeless and beautiful and how thankfully we look to the past for inspiration.


I came away from Sovereign Hill inspired to make my children's outfits for the schools 125th anniversary, and took so much away from our visit there. We have talked all week about life back in the day, that was worth the hefty price of admission. It's really brought us together as a family all through the week. Even if just by seeing Aaron raking leaves in his top hat.

I am a little excited about showing you some pictures of my children and what I came up with for tomorrow!


  1. I've really enjoyed reading about Sovereign Hill.

  2. LOVE a bit of Old Fashionedness...I'm sure I have been reincarnated from someone of that era......What a great place, Looks like a nice trip you had. Always good to take away a bit of inspiration too...