The Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers MA hosted a World War I themed event in honor of Memorial Day Weekend. I have a somewhat Edwardian looking dress and hat and decided to wear them. Dad and I arrived in Danvers a few minutes before ten o’clock a waited a few minutes in the car before going in.
A local group that reenacts World War I had set up a camp on the grounds of the Rebecca Nurse Homestead and there were also reenactors portraying British sailors and French soldiers. Dad was disappointed to find that there would not be any drills or demonstrations that day. To see that, we would have to come back the next day. The first part of our visit involved poking around the event to see what was there and then looking around in the Rebecca Nurse house. While looking in the wing of the house with display cases filled with artifacts dug up on the site, we met a volunteer named Don, who gave us a tour of the second floor of the house, which I have never seen before. The meeting house was set up for crafts and coloring; I made a poppy out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners.
Dad and I were hungry by this point, so we went to the concession stand for snacks: We both got cokes. I got a bag of popcorn and a bag of candy; Dad got a donut. Afterwards, I went to the gift shop and bought and a volume of poems by Anne Bradstreet, who we studied in my American Lit. class, and a couple of postcards. I donated my last dollar to a fund to build a World War I memorial in Washington D.C. My donation allowed me to take a packet of Flanders Poppy seeds, which I later planted in a pot on my deck. We will see how well they turn out.
The reenactors had brought a great deal of interesting things to look at. A table displaying weapons had a rifle bayonet which could be detached and used as a knife.
Another table, which had books and other paper goods from the period, had a romantic postcard of an American soldier kissing his girl before going off to war and a basic french book, as well as a book of “naughty poems.” I wonder what people in 1917 considered naughty.
There was also a table set up with rations which a World War I era soldier would have eaten and a fire for cooking bacon. Another table which displayed period communications devices such as radios and cameras.
The British encampment had cigarette cards of King George V, Queen Mary, and other members of the royal family. The French encampment had an actual Croix de Guerre medal. An adorable little boy tried on a helmet at the British encampment and appeared to be having a ball. I love seeing people bring kids to these type of events.
We left around noon and I put my postcards and poppy in my scrapbook.