EMC News – Hands-across-the-border will be the order-of-the-day at an introductory workshop on War-of-1812-era domestic arts for women at Ogdensburg’s Dobisky Center Saturday, Nov. 3, starting at 9 a.m.
Mardi MacFarlane from Prescott will join Lynette Lundy-Beck from Sackets Harbor, NY and George Cherepon from Star Lake, NY as instructors at Women’s History Day. They will lead workshops on bonnet and making chatelaine and demonstrations of English country-dance, along with readings from letters and diaries written by the women of the day.
“During the bicentennial of the War of 1812, we in St. Lawrence County look forward to sharing our common history with our neighbours in Leeds and Grenville,” said Barbara O’Keefe, President of the Fort La Présentation Association. “For the modest cost of $50, covering lunch, basic materials and instructors’ honoraria, participants can delve into a corner of our past that spanned the St. Lawrence River.”
Under MacFarlane’s guidance, participants will cut, paste and sew simple straw hats, supplied by the workshop, into bonnets. They should bring one-and-a-half-yards of fabric, as well as dried flowers, ribbons, and small decorations to individualize their bonnets, which they will keep.
A chatelaine, explained Lundy-Beck, suspended from the neck or a belt held the tools, such as keys and scissors, a woman may require. Participants should bring items for the chatelaine they will make and take home.
George Cherepon and members of the St. Lawrence Valley English Country-Dance Club will demonstrate and lead participants in period dances. These dances were popular before and during the war and are mentioned in personal accounts and Jane Austen novels.
“Ladies wishing to build on their dance experience are invited to return to the Dobisky Center at 7 p.m. for an English country-dance that will include more lessons,” said O’Keefe. “Dress is casual, and no partner is necessary. However, a number of experienced dancers will attend in period clothing to assist the new dancers.”
Soft-soled shoes are encouraged. Admission is $5.
Women’s History Day has been planned by the Ogdensburg Organizing Committee for the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 whose members are drawn from Forsyth’s Rifles, the Fort La Présentation Association, the Ogdensburg Library and the City of Ogdensburg.
Those interested are invited to register soon since space is limited. Registration forms and further information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-848-7736.