Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Visiting the Historic Farnsworth House Inn and Taking a Ghost Tour - Gettysburg, PA

Greetings and Happy October!

Back in August, a trip to Gettysburg was taken and of course, that is a town in which there is much to do. So much to do and so little time to do it all - in my opinion - best describes a weekend trip to Gettysburg!
A few posts ago, I talked about the Dobbin House Tavern, one of my favorite places to eat and even just walk around at. It is the oldest establishment in Gettysburg, built during the late 18th century.
While the Dobbin House is a very charming place with a very fascinating history, with Halloween in the air, I will take you to a location with a more - well - sinister vibe. Not that the Farnsworth House doesn't have its own charm. In fact, I find the overall ambience of the place quite appealing (especially to the goth kid that still resides within and manages to make her appearance every so often).
With Halloween in the air, I'm going to continue my summer time travels by covering some of my favorite locations in the very haunted town of Gettysburg.

I will say that when you first enter the Farnsworth property, there is a feeling of almost stepping through a portal. Yes, the entire town of Gettysburg is quite historic and each building seems to breathe with a life of its own, but the Farnsworth Inn definitely stands out. Perhaps that may be due to the fact that - sort of like the Jenny Lind House - its history is steeped in some gruesome horror. And much of the history is certainly not for the faint of heart (in fact, the ghost tour we took was advertised as just that).

Prior to the tour, dinner was had in the restaurant of the Farnsworth Inn. And of course I snapped a few photos along the way.

Two photos of Sweney's Tavern entrance, which I took a quick peek in before heading to the Inn.

A couple of the available rooms in the Farnsworth House

I was very much taken by the dark but beautiful interior of the Farnsworth Inn. The food selection on the menu was definitely unique but it was delicious. And they let me keep my menu (score!).
There was one particular appetizer that was a sort of savory gelatin and I unfortunately can't for the life of me recall what it was, but it was one of those foods that while I didn't dislike it, it was definitely an acquired taste. And I shared this with the waiter and he agreed.

But then they brought out the Jennie Wade bread with apple butter and THAT was delicious.

Jennie Wade bread!

Now who is Jennie Lind, some of you might ask and what does bread have to do with her? I will be telling her tragic tale in a future vlog this month.

Anyway, I ended up getting the Company Cook's Soup of the Day (Chicken and Wild Rice), and a fruit, cracker and cheese platter was also had. Both were quite delicious!

After that, I had to get a few photos of the interior before heading over to the ghost tour.

Kinda creepy mirror selfie :)
I absolutely loved this hallway shot

The ghost tour group was pretty big, but it was a lot of fun. And we had a great tour guide, Lisa Patrick and her husband also came along for the ride. He would sometimes harass her in a very good natured way, and seeing their banter was also quite enjoyable.
Our wonderful tour guide, Lisa, who certainly did not disappoint in the tour!

Lisa and her husband took us through the town of Gettysburg to a few areas key to Gettysburg haunted history. This included the Jennie Wade House and even a now modern school that was built over a battlefield that was quite active during the time of the Civil War. We went to a few churches that were once field houses (houses used as hospitals during the Civil War...those histories are indeed gruesome) and it was interesting hearing the stories behind them. On top of the fact that it was a very lovely night.

After our walk around town, it was back to the Farnsworth Inn and down into the basement to top off the tour. The entire basement is set up for a funeral service. It is said that one is more likely to experience activity sitting toward the back of the room. So guess where I insisted on going...

The view from the back of the basement...

While down here, Lisa and her husband told of the Farnsworth house being a field house among some of the former residents. I can't say that I experienced anything supernatural while down in the basement, but there certainly was a vibe about the place and there have been many sightings reported by guests that have stayed here over the years.
Another area of the Farnsworth Inn basement

After the basement, Lisa and her husband gave everyone two bonus stories outside of Sweney's Tavern. It was overall a very enjoyable evening and I very highly recommend the Farnsworth Inn Ghost Tours if you ever take a trip to Gettysburg (the tour I talk of in this post was the Confederate Hospital Walk). It even gave me a couple ideas for the bonfire tales night I'm organizing at the John Neville House for later this month.
Visit the Farnsworth Inn website and check out what they have to offer.

I will continue my posts on Gettysburg through the month. Until then, pleasant dreams...

Snapping a pic of my shadow against the Farnsworth Inn after the tour ended


Thank you for reading! Go on a five day journey through time with me and receive a song or mystical story each day!
Begin your journey here:
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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

My 2019 Summer Time Travels: Fort Henry Days, 2019 (Wheeling, WV)

Well hey there!

These past couple of weeks and weekends have been quite the whirlwind between events at the museum, music gigs, speaking engagements, fitness training, and a few other projects and events that I'm getting underway. I also have 2 lectures in the month of October (A History of Chocolate and Early Folklore and Its Origins), and an 18th century bonfire stories night, on top of regular museum events and rehearsing for music gigs. So I'm not exactly resting on my laurels! :D
With all that said, though, I am presenting you with another blogpost on my summer travels (combined with a few gigs!). In the last few weeks, I was absolutely thrilled to have April C. Thomas of Fashions Revisited on for an interview and Eliza Vincz (Silk & Sass 1776) back for a blog swap. I am having on a few more cool folks on here in the coming weeks, including ones that are a dream opportunity to interview!
As we have now entered the month of October, I will be discussing some of my Gettysburg experiences from back in August, starting with a review of the very haunted Farnsworth House. But first, without further ado, I am doing a little recap of Fort Henry Days, an even that takes place in Wheeling, WV every year on Labor Day weekend. This was a camp out, as well as a music gig at which Wayward Companions and I performed our early music with a celtic folk flair. :D

Of course, packing for these things is always an event in itself as you very often pack a combination of modern and 18th century (or whatever time period you're doing) items! And I keep adding to my period correct personal care products thanks to the likes of LBCC Historical. :)

All packed! Divided between period correct luggage and modern luggage!

Then it was time to set out on my (time) travels!

Arriving in my natural habitat!
Now I'm REALLY in my natural habitat :)
The event schedule and the Betty Zane shirt for the 2019 season. This year's reenactment theme was Betty's Run. And if you don't know who Betty Zane is, look her up! She's awesome and quite a fascinating woman in American history.

Upon the participant registration before the event opened, we were all gifted with this lovely swag bag.

The Swag Bag!

My favorite parts of the bag were the Fort Henry Days sticker (which now adorns my laptop) and the wooden needle case. Anyone that sews can tell you that one can NEVER have too many needle cases. Or beeswax cakes. :D

Morning has broken at Fort Henry on a beautiful Saturday morning!

When morning broke upon Fort Henry, we all got some much needed coffee from the concession stands. I cannot sing the praises of coffee nearly enough. Seriously.

After I got my period attire on

Once I was dressed in my period attire and the event was open for the Saturday, I made sure to catch my friend Kara Gordon's presentation on the clothing and other items owned by a real life frontier woman of the 18th century. She also did it in first person as a relative of the woman, which was definitely a cool touch.

Kara begins her presentation, "All I Own"

Kara is quite knowledgeable and has done a couple period clothing presentations with me and other members of the Pittsburgh Historical Costume Society. She is also a very talented seamstress and has a side business, The Rose in the Heather.

Among her gorgeous items, these blue earrings were calling to me, so I snatched them up before anyone else could get a chance to!

My purchase from The Rose in the Heather!

While Kara doesn't currently have an online store, she does have an Instagram page, so feel free to give her a follow. :)

Aside from my Rose in the Heather purchase, my main objective was to start picking up some items that will aide me in my French and Indian War (French) soldier impression. Yes, I will sometimes be crossdressing as an 18th century man at a few events and participating in artillery and battles. I am really excited about it and do plan to do some blogging on it, especially as it will allow me to see things from both the perspective of men and women from that era. That is also something I look forward to exploring more here.

Just a look at my full attire

But first, some pics of the initial stroll around the Fort Henry sutler row.

Next to my group's camp was another sutler I purchased from. Cocked Hat Publishing is owned and operated by historical fiction author, Geoff Baggett. He and his wife are great to talk with and it was a pleasure meeting them. While I haven't had a chance to read any of his books yet, I do plan to put some of the titles on my 'to read' list as they look quite fascinating.

Among the items that Geoff had, this roll up journal and case caught my attention and ended up being among my Fort Henry purchases. I love it!

Some other nice leatherbound journals that Cocked Hat Publishing had
Geoff and his lovely wife

My journal! ❤️❤️

Finally, I then scored in the area of finding items to help in my research and embodiment of a French soldier of the 18th century, thanks to Able's Trading and Smoke & Fire.

My purchases from Able's Trading and Smoke & Fire

After some socializing and shopping, I had to take the stage at 4pm with Wayward Companions. The audience themselves were great fun and we really enjoyed performing our set, as always!

Post 4pm set photo!

At 5pm, the event closed to the public and the participants all went to the main hall for the dinner always provided for us, and it is always delicious. A couple hours after that, the tavern was to open, during which Wayward Companions provided the music to enhance that atmosphere. So we had our second concert for the event (which did include some less than genteel songs)!
Inside the tavern setting up for the evening's set!

Then the crowd starts to enter...

On Sunday morning, I got to spend a little time with everyone, but had to leave early so that I could get to the museum. I therefore had to miss the ladies' tea that they always have, which disappointed me a little. I have attended every year in the last couple years that Wayward Companions performed at this event and it is lovely. I hope to be able to attend that next year!

As a whole, Fort Henry Days is always a great event that keeps growing and one that is definitely worth visiting, especially if you love history! 


Thank you for reading! Go on a five day journey through time with me and receive a song or mystical story each day!
Begin your journey here:
WEBSITE (new website coming soon!):