A Colonial Holiday For Children 2019

a colonial holiday for children at the deacon john grave houseJoin us on Saturday, December 14th from 2 to 4pm for our sixth annual Children’s Holiday Open House. Enjoy an old-fashioned holiday afternoon full of cookie decorating, holiday crafts, roasting chestnuts, live music, storytelling and refreshments. Create winter memories with the whole family! Admission is free.

Click here, here and here to see all the fun of previous Children’s Colonial Holidays.

Madison Lyric Stage Ends their 2019 Season With An Original And Provocative Production

The performances of Hotel Fables: Episodes in a Life were sold out and received critical acclaim.

Through music and drama, the production explored the complexities, struggles and humor of human relationships.

The immersive piece was staged in one large room reflecting a single hotel room.

The program featured music from Britten, Saint Saens, Puccini, Beethoven and drama from Beckett and Harwood .

We, the Deacon John Grave Foundation and Madison Lyric Stage, are looking forward to our 2020 Season.

Country Day Second-Graders Visit Grave House

Following an annual tradition, two Country Day School classes of second grade students with their teachers and parents enjoyed a visit to the historic Grave property.
Docents in period dress guided the students through the history of the House, asking questions along the way.

Students showcased their knowledge from their prior studies at school.
They answered questions about colonial life and gained additional understanding of colonial times.

The docents showed and explained the use of antique tools, the methods of hearth cooking, and the processes of turning flax into linen cloth.

Chores done by colonial children proved to be of particular interest to the young visitors. The hidden room and secret staircase also grabbed their attention.

After the house tour, students engaged in the rare colonial pastime of play and showed their remarkable skill in using the Grave House collection of vintage toys.

Colonial Gamers Gather at the Bauer Farm for the Fall Festival

DJGH board members in colonial dress hosted a play station at the Bauer Farm Fall Festival, exhibiting the Grave House collection of historic toys and games. Throughout the festival day, parents and children stopped at the Deacon’s play station to test their skills with a variety of vintage wooden toys and games. No iPhones or Internet games permitted!

Garden Club of Madison Holds Workshop

On a beautiful October day, members of the Garden Club held a hands-on lesson on how to divide and transplant garden perennials.

As friends of the Deacon John Grave Foundation, Garden Club members maintain the wonderful garden and wildflower walk on the Deacon’s property.

Madison Lyric Stage Performs the Classic Masterpiece, Hansel and Gretel

The production played to sold out audiences and received rave reviews, as one fan exclaimed, “What an amazing performance! As usual, it was fantastic! ‘Loved it all.”

MLS Artistic Director, Marc Deaton directed one of the most beloved operas of all time, Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck.

Marc and his creative team transformed the Grave House into magic staging areas.

Audience members began their journeying in our small front parlor, staged as the children’s tenement house.

The audience then followed Hansel and Gretel to the main room with added tiered seating.

This room created both a dark forest and the witch’s gingerbread house.

The opera, in English, was suitable for all ages and numerous children were in attendance.

Relatives of the First John Grave, Three Sisters and Their Families, Tour the Deacon’s House

the 3 sisters outside the deacon john grave house front doorOn an early October morning, Cynthia Kremser from Oregon, Jeanne Murphy from Virginia, and Beth Bronson from Nigeria were guests at the Grave House.
Board members provided a genealogical history of the Grave family and gave a room-by-room tour of the House.

Of particular interest were the dates and construction of the three sections of the Deacon’s house and the history of slaves from 1685 to around 1800.

Those hosting at the Deacon’s then directed the visitors to the Madison West Cemetery and to the location of numerous Grave family tombstones.

The Barn Gets New Sills and Gutter

In September, Sarens Builders and Remodeling of Clinton replaced all the rotten window sills, which were then sealed and painted.

The construction team also removed the rotten gutter on the south side of the barn and replaced it with a colonial-style cedar wood gutter with copper lining.

This project was made possible with a grant from Bauer Farms.

Our Expert on Antique Tools Highlights the 2019 Annual Meeting

After a short business meeting, Board Member Tom Lee, presented an engaging lecture and demonstration of antique tools, from the Grave House collection and from his own. He spoke about the unique construction and specific function of each tool displayed. The vintage tools offered a window into three areas of Colonial life: clothing production, farming, and house construction.

After the lecture, Tom provided a tour of the second floor of the Grave House and pointed out where similar tools would have been used in the construction of the house. Tom highlighted architectural features that gave the Board members additional appreciation for the history of the building.

Afterwards refreshments were served compliments of Roberts Foods in North Madison.

A Large Crowd at the Late Summer Mixer

On the evening of Sunday, August 24, the Madison Historical Society (MHS) and the Deacon John Grave Foundation (DJGF) held the annual end-of-summer concert on the lawn of the Grave House. It featured the George Manston Big Band for an evening of great music and camaraderie. Guests brought lawn chairs and picnics; beer, wine and soft drinks were complimentary.

Members from the participating organizations (MHS, DJGF, Garden Club of Madison (GCMCT) and Charlotte L. Evarts Memorial Archives (CLEMA) toured the beautiful Grave House gardens and enjoyed the wildflower walk.