Notes from the Director – April 2024

I can’t believe that the eclipse has come and gone! We began planning our Eclipse Watch Party a year ago. Our Watch Party, held on the Hall House lawn, was a lot of fun despite the fact that a dark cloud came and obstructed the view just as the Total Eclipse arrived. It got dark enough for the street lights to come on, which made the view of the mansion and Jamestown really awesome. We had 53 guests, many of them from out of state. Plenty of hot dogs and baked goods were consumed and we enjoyed the music from Pie Time Entertainment, which was sun, moon, and eclipse themed. When the Total Eclipse hit we heard Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler.

Our next big event is the Genealogical Conference and History Fair on April 27th, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Fluvanna Community Church. Our guest speaker is Caleb Abrams, who will be speaking at 9:00 a.m. and is open to the public. The History Fair is free and open to the public and will have various Historical Societies and vendors displaying historical objects and items for sale. The Genealogical Conference is $75 for 4 classes and lunch. Go to the Fenton History Center website for information on classes and to sign up (

Everyone is invited to a Birthday Party on Saturday, May 4th at 2:00 p.m. We will be celebrating the 200th Birthday of Elizabeth Scudder Fenton with a birthday cake and the official closing of the Time Capsule. The party will be held in the Mansion Dining Room. On Saturday, May 11th, we will be hosting a Corn Husk Doll Workshop at 2:00 pm with Kaycee Colburn as the instructor. You will be making a traditional corn husk doll with Kaycee giving a modern retelling of the traditional Seneca story. Each participant will be taking their doll home with them. The workshop is limited to 20 people, so make your reservation as soon as possible. The cost is $20 for adults and $5 for children.

Also in May on Saturday the 18th at 1:00 p.m. will be the dedication of our Blue Star Memorial Garden followed by a reception. The Blue Star Mothers NY4 are overseeing the ceremony with Greg Carlson as the keynote speaker. The 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums will be providing the music. The garden was a work in progress all last year at the Fenton History Center with the help of Master Gardener Pat Martonis and her apprentice Bethany O’Hagan. There were many volunteers and staff who put their sweat into the planting and caring for the garden along with the Parks Department. We encourage everyone to attend this event in honor of all of our past and present men and women in service on Armed Forces Day, May 18th.

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