This month both the Town of Westport and the State of Connecticut commemorate the 240th anniversary of the British Raid on Danbury during the Revolutionary War. While both oral and written history is rich with tales of heroic men and women who joined the fight for Independence in big and small ways, an important segment of society is often forgotten; the children of the 18th century.
To bring this important era alive for youngsters, Westport Historical Society is hosting a Colonial Family Fun Day on Sunday, May 21, from 1 to 5 pm,that will shed light on life for children in the 18th Century.
Kids during the Revolutionary War—and the 18th Century at large—lived very differently than their modern counterparts. Expected to participate in family life and work from a very young age, 18th century children did household and farm chores, helped care for younger siblings and, as they got older, provided real support to their parents in serious matters facing the family. One example is Sybil Ludington, a sixteen-year -old girl who rode her horse, Star, through the night in the rain to muster the militia in an attempt to prevent the British from raiding Danbury.
In the spirit of educational fun, the Society’s modern day event will include churning butter and “Make Your Own Hedgehog Conceit”, a popular confection of the 18th century featuring, marzipan, almonds and currants fashioned into a hedgehog.
Silhouette making and colonial games will be part of the day’s activities; learn how to make the dark paper profile portraits so popular in the day and play games that were popular in the 18th Century. A sampling of chores common for a Revolutionary-era youngster will take place where kids “earn” colonial “money” for their chores that they can spend at our General Store.
Even little ones in the 1700s would have helped Mother plant the kitchen garden. Kids will plant their own heirloom vegetable facilitated by Wakeman Town Farm to take home. And visitors of every age will enjoy hearing stories, selected by Westport Public Library, about the 18th century read aloud on the lawn.
Other events will include a complimentary refreshment table, coloring activities and the chance to take your picture with a live Minuteman!
$5 per person, 2 and under are free. Admission includes entry to WHS and exhibits, including “The Danbury Raid” and goes to support the award winning programs offered at WHS.
Purchase tickets by going to our website or by calling (203) 222-1424.