Cherry Hill Newsletter Fall 2021 Did you know? Cherry Hill is listed in the National Register of Historic Places Nearly 50 years ago, on July 26, 1973, following its certification as a historic property of statewide significance, the National Park Service approved Cherry Hill for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). As a result, photos of Cherry Hill can be found in the Library of Congress as part of the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey collection. The nomination of Cherry Hill was prepared and presented by John M. Dickey (1911-1990), a historical architect from Media, Pennsylvania. He prepared both an architectural analysis and a restoration proposal for the house. Very active in historic architectural research and restoration in Pennsylvania, in 1974, he made detailed specifications for the repair and reuse of the house. Based on tax records, the nomination stated that the Cherry Hill house and barn were believed to have been built about 1840, by property owner John Mills, thus it was also referred to as the John Mills House. The nomination emphasized the connection to later house owner Joseph Riley and his family, including cousin, poet James Whitcomb Riley, and son, Smithsonian ornithologist J. Harvey Riley. Subsequent research suggests that property owner William Harvey was the likely builder, and 1845 was the construction date. We now focus interpretation on William and Eirene Blaisdell and their six children who owned the farm from 1856 through the Civil War years and just beyond. Dickey’s original proposal recommended that the house be used as City of Falls Church office space. However, following further consideration by the City Planning Commission, the City Council, and the Historical Commission, and in light of the upcoming U.S. Bicentennial in 1975-76, the proposal recommended it be used for community and civic functions, as well as a museum. Other Falls Church structures on the register include: the Birch House (on E. Broad St.); Mount Hope (on S. Oak St.); the Henderson House (on S. Maple Ave.); the D.C. boundary markers at SW 9, a National Historic Landmark for its association with surveyor Benjamin Banneker); and West Cornerstone. (See page 3 for source references.)
As fall begins to prepare our gardens for winter, some plants continue to show their summer color! (L-R: Fading hydrangeas near the Cherry Hill wellhouse, black-eyed Susans, and a zinnia hosting a Monarch butterfly.)
These plaques attest to Cherry Hill’s status as both a state and national historic site.
Presidents’ Letter Brood X cicadas have returned to their underground abodes for the next 17 years and the oak tree itch mites which consumed the eggs they deposited in tree branches are gone. Locals were initially puzzled by the mysterious and persistently itchy red spots caused after invisible mites fell from trees on to their upper torsos. Sadly, Covid concerns remain after what appeared to be protection from the virus and freedom for the vaccinated. Flowers were blooming when Cherry Hill began offering tours in late June under new and strict Covid prevention protocols. The number of visitors was limited. After sometimes waiting, and being briefed about Cherry Hill outdoors on the porch, small family or “pod” members entered the house – one group and volunteer on the first floor and one group and volunteer upstairs. As the summer progressed and concern increased, the City required that all visitors wear masks. Our visitors readily complied and were happy to have the opportunity to see the interior of the house. We were thrilled to be able to open the barn in mid-September with new corn grinding and tool “overseers.” (See “The Barn is Back” article on page 2.) Our creative and hard-working director, Corey, was married in September! On a gorgeous and sunny day, Cherry Hill volunteers held a wedding shower lunch on the Farmhouse porch. It was wonderful to be able to get together again with more than a dozen volunteers and docents. If we can figure out how to do it safely, we hope to do our seasonal teas. We are also hoping to offer the Christmas Shoppe in December as well. (Our closets are chock-a-block with gifts…) Diane and Maureen
Gratitude Goes To … While we were happy to open Cherry Hill to the public this summer, tours were provided under strict Covid prevention protocols. Volunteers took special training in order to assist visitors this summer. A special thanks goes to Jennifer de Vignier, Pat Jordan, Rosemary Ziskind, Joanne Caramanica and others who served more than once regardless of the heat and humidity. Joanne feels that her attendance at the Virginia Association of Museums virtual conference in March provided her with a better understanding of how to incorporate the topic of slavery into tours of Cherry Hill. She was also pleased to share what she learned about Stratford Hall, the ancestral home of Robert E. Lee, with board members of a house museum in Monmouth County, NJ, which helped them develop a program and trip to Stratford Hall. Also, thanks to the very generous cash gift from Board treasurer, Deanne Dierksen, and donations of antique silverware from Gail Wadsworth and tea china from Clare Balbi. The gifts are most welcomed.
In addition to the opening of Cherry Hill Farmhouse in June and the barn on September 18, the Mary Riley Styles Public Library opened on September 10. (Mary and her family moved to Cherry Hill in 1873.)
A tender note of appreciation to the very young boy who, though upset he had to wait to enter the house, spotted the clear cash box, reached into his pocket, pulled out a quarter, and deposited it. So touching. Acorn
The Barn is Back! After being closed for more than two years, Cherry Hill barn opened on September 18! Visitors can learn about life on a mid-19th century farm and try grinding corn. So much fun! CORN COBS
Thanks to Greg Awad and Henry de Vignier-Awad’s hard work and dedication to the Cherry Hill barn, the public can once again view our wonderful agricultural tool collection. This hardworking dad and son duo are the husband and son of volunteer Jennifer de Vignier.
Resource List for National Register of Historic Places article on page 1: ➢ For details of those listings, see https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/historic-registers/falls-church-ind-city/ ➢ For the National Register nomination of Cherry Hill in the State preservation office, seehttps://www.dhr.virginia.gov/historic-registers/110- 0004/ and https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/VLR_to_transfer/PDFNoms/1100004_Cherry_Hill_1973_Final_Nomination.pdf ➢ For the Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey file on Cherry Hill, see http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Cherry%20Hill%2C%20Falls%20Church%2C%20VA&co=hh
Virginia in the Civil War Answers on page 5.
Answers on page 7
2. The historic mountain pass on the Wilderness Road outside Ewing: _____ Gap
1. Location in Charles City where“Taps" was composed by Union General Daniel Butterfield during the Peninsula Campaign: _____ Plantation
5. Near Middletown, the site of the only documented Civil War battle where both sides won and lost on the same day: _____ Creek Battlefield
3. State in which the most major Civil War battles were fought.
8. On May 23,1861, Virginians voted to _____ from the Union.
4. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in his house: Wilmer _____
9. The First Battle of Manassas is also known as _____ _____.
6. City where most of Stonewall Jackson is buried.
12. Location of the Freedman's Village.
7. Virginian Edward _____ fired one of the first shots of the Civil War at Fort Sumter, SC, on April 12, 1861.
13. Never attacked by the Confederacy, this fort denied the Confederates access from the ocean to Norfolk and Richmond: Fort _____ 14. In Richmond, the final resting place of Jefferson Davis, J.E.B. Stuart, Fitzhugh Lee and other Confederate notables as well as U.S. Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler: _____ Cemetery 15. City in which Robert E. Lee spent his boyhood.
10. In Petersburg, the _____ Church features 13 stained glass windows donated by states in memory of the 30,000 Confederate soldiers buried in its cemetery. 11. Known as the "last capital of the Confederacy."
Bees love Orpine!
A Summer Camp Scrapbook This year’s Cherry Hill summer camps taught modern young ladies many skills considered essential for 19th century maidens. The camps were conducted under strict Covid-prevention conditions: • • • •
Outdoors Socially distanced Masked as required Individually assigned craft supplies
Participants dove into each task with enthusiasm under the guidance of Corey Price, nee Jannicelli, Cherry Hill Arts & Humanities Coordinator. Clockwise from top right: • Cursive writing – a declining art form • Making hand-cranked ice cream • Crafting corn husk dolls • Taking a turn at the butter churn • Creating seashell picture frames • Playing “Graces” – a game designed to teach young ladies how to move gracefully • Enjoying a proper tea • The art of the silhouette • Trimming a summer hat
Jack o’ Lanterns According to Alice Earle, who wrote at the turn of the 19th century, carving pumpkins was done in the 1850s in the United States. She wrote: “A favorite manner of using the autumn store of pumpkins was the manufacture of Jack o’ lanterns, which were most effective and hideous when lighted from within.”
Cherry Hill Hosts a Wedding Shower! The porch of the Cherry Hill Farmhouse was the venue for a recent wedding shower celebrating Corey Jannicelli’s upcoming nuptials with Andrew Price! Joining in the celebration were many Cherry Hill Board members and volunteers. Among the gifts and cards were favorite family recipes shared by the guests. Many thanks to Diane Morse and Pat Jordan who handled the set-up for the event! Photos: (missing from the photos – Maureen Budetti & Joanne Caramanica) 1. 2.
Corey enjoying her cards and recipes. Front row: Harriet Hunt, Deane Dierksen, Betsy Johnson. Back row: Clare Balbi, Pat Jordan, Wanda Howard, Diane Morse, Mike Volpe, Ruth Rodgers.
3. 4. 5.
Ron Anzalone Rosemary Zuskind L-R: Clare Balbi, Wanda Howard, Diane Morse, Pat Jordan.
Victorian Wedding Customs CONGRATULATING THE COUPLE: While it is entirely appropriate to tender hearty expressions of congratulations with an offered hand to the affianced man/groom, such sentiments should NOT be made to the young lady in question. In all cases of engagement and marriage, the young man is the fortunate party in having secured the young lady to be his wife. It is therefore more appropriate to tender best wishes or happiness toward the bride. THE CEREMONY: In addition to the all-important “I WILL” repeated by both parties, the words “HONOR AND OBEY” must also be distinctly spoken by the bride. They constitute an essential part of her obligation and contract of matrimony. DEPARTURE FOR THE HONEYMOON: The young bride, divested of her bridal attire, and costumed for the journey, bids farewell to her bridesmaids and lady friends. Servants offer heartfelt best wishes; and, finally, melting, she falls weeping on her mother’s bosom. Her father, not trusting his voice, holds out his hand, gives her one kiss, and then leads her to the door, where he delivers her to her husband, who hands her quickly into the carriage, leaps in lightly after her, waves his hand to the party, half smiles at the throng, then gives the word, and they are off, and started on the voyage of life! From “The Etiquette of Courtship and Matrimony with a Complete Guide to the Forms of a Wedding,” 1852, London. Cherry Hill historian and volunteer, Ron Anzalone, presented this 1851 recipe to Corey at her wedding shower:
Nature’s Warning Signs
“Cherry Bounce” Mix together six pounds of ripe morellas1 and six pounds of large black heart cherries. Put them into a wooden bowl or tub, and with a pestle or mallet mash them so as to crack all the stones. Mix with the cherries three pounds of loafsugar,2 or of sugar candy broken up, and put them into a demijohn,3 or into a large stone jar. Pour on two gallons of the best double rectified4 whiskey. Stop the vessel closely, and let it stand three months, shaking it every day during the first month. At the end of the three months you may strain the liquor and bottle it off. It improves with age. Ron’s comment: But you may not!
1 Dark sour cherries 2 Sugar in a solid block; granulated sugar was not widely available until the late 1800s 3 Bulbous narrow-necked bottle, containing 3-10 gallons, often enclosed in a wicker basket 4 Re-distilled
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, there are certain signs in nature that pre-National Weather Service folks used to identify the coming of winter:
• • • • • • • • •
Migration of the monarch butterfly Arrival of the snowy owl Spiders spinning larger-than-usual webs Unusual abundance of acorns Squirrels gathering nuts Crickets on the hearth Departure of geese and ducks Pigs gathering sticks Insects marching in a line rather than meandering
Galloway Methodist Church and Cemetery In 1867, African Americans built Galloway United Methodist Church and established the historic cemetery on Annandale Road near Hillwood Avenue. According to local tradition, before and during the Civil War, enslaved people on the Dylan’s plantation secretly worshipped in the grove of trees at the cemetery.
“Occupation of Alexandria” by Kara Walker
Contemporary artist adds context to Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (1866) Artist Kara Walker’s paper cuttings and silhouettes are superimposed on prints from Harper’s 19th century volumes. Her 15-piece collection adds an important African-American context lacking in Harper prints of the time. The link below offers a discussion and view of a portion of Kara Walker’s (born 1969) artwork from an exhibition (Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) 2005) at the Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY. Walker’s show will be exhibited starting in late October, 2021 in Carlisle, PA and in October, 2022 in New York City. For more information on Kara Walker’s art, go to: https://rockwellmuseum.org/exhibitscollections/current-exhibitions/kara-walker/ and Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) | Smithsonian American Art Museum (si.edu)
Galloway Methodist Cemetery
Those buried here include: • Church founders, George and Harriet Brice, lie beside each other. Harriet Brice’s marker simply says “Mother.” Her husband, George Brice, escaped from slavery and joined the 6th Regiment, United States Colored Troops (USCT). The regiment was organized near Philadelphia in July-September 1863. It fought around Richmond and Petersburg until December 1864, when it embarked for North Carolina. It was at Bennett Place when Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army on April 26, 1865.
Charles Lee, a free man of color, served in the 10th USCT. The regiment was raised in Virginia in November 1863 and fought around Richmond and Petersburg.
Charles Tinner and Isaac Peyton were members of the interracial Home Guard, which protected town residents and their property.
Eliza Hicks Henderson escaped bondage after the Battle of Vicksburg in 1863 and walked from Vicksburg to Washington, D.C. to rejoin her family. She concealed her young son, William Henderson, in a trunk.
Lula Mars rests under a stone marked “Born in Williamsburg.” Her owner was the father of her daughter Louisa Mars, who married William Henderson. Both are buried here.
Harriet Foote Turner escaped from the nearby Cook-Fitzhugh plantation late in the 1850s and used forged passes to lead newly purchased slaves to freedom in Canada. She later returned frequently to visit relatives and is buried here.
Become A FoCH Member! Joining is easy! Just fill out this membership form, enclose the appropriate payment amount and return to: Friends of Cherry Hill 312 Park Avenue Falls Church, VA 22046 Name: _____________________________________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________ Email: ___________________________________ Check one: _____ New Membership (1 year: $20 January 2021 – January 2022) _____ Renewed Membership (1 year: $20 January 2021 – January 2022) _____ Donation _____ Life Membership ($250, one-time payment) _____ I would like information about becoming a Cherry Hill Farm volunteer.
Make checks payable to: Friends of Cherry Hill
Save a stamp! You can read each issue of the Cherry Hill newsletter online at www.cherryhillfallschurch.org. If you prefer that format to receiving a paper copy, please check this box. Content provided by Ron Anzalone, Maureen Budetti, Holly Fenelon, Diane Morse, Corey Price.
Friends of Cherry Hill 312 Park Avenue Falls Church, VA 22046