The intent of the Guild is to fill a niche in the hereditary
society community by honoring those enterprising ancestors
whose labor and skills help build this country and/or whose
gifted talents in the humanities lifted the spirits of our
founding fathers. The trades of these ancestors, such as blacksmiths,
printers, poets, carpenters, musicians, coopers, tailors, malsters,
a host of others are also trades that are being taught to young
and old and brought before the general public as demonstrations
of early Colonial life.
As a non-profit organization, the Guild of Colonial Artisans
and Tradesmen 1607-1783 shall focus our annual charitable efforts
on supporting programs related to the Colonial Trades. Venues
under consideration will be that of apprenticeship programs,
covering a variety of trades, in which individuals today are
learning the historical implementation of ancestral skills
and are perpetuating
these aspects of early life in America. Other projects being
researched are the support of organizations that visually interpret
and demonstrate Colonial life in the trades as well as Colonial
archeological excavations that often reveal the residue of
Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston Salem, NC
The Guild donated $2,500 to support the MESDA Craftsman Data Base Project. The Craftsman Data Base is a collection of primary source information on nearly 85,000 artisans and artists practicing 127 trades in the early South. The Guild is shown on their web site as being a Supporter and Partner for the Craftsman Data Base.
The Mill at Water Mill, Long Island, New York
An agreement dated 07 Jan 1644 between the Town of Southampton and Edward Howell stated " . . . sayd Edward Howell doth promise to build for himself to supply the necessities of the towne, a sufficient mill at Mecoxe . . . " and " . . . to receive in return for himself and his heirs forever forty acres of land." The town laid the millstone and built the necessary dam. The community grew up around the water mill and the town's name in time became Water Mill. The Guild's $2500 contribution has been used towards a permanent exhibit of the tools of the trade used in building and running an early water powered mill.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland
The vision of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is to be the
premier maritime museum for studying, exhibiting, preserving
and celebrating the important history and culture of the largest
estuary in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay. The museum
features a shipwright apprentice program which honors the trade
of ship building. The Guild has many proven ancestors who were
colonial shipwrights. There is also a decoy carving tradition
that is currently featured as a special exhibit in the Museum's
Waterfowling Building that will be open through Sunday November
3, 2013. The Guild's donation of $2,000 will support the many
on going projects that complement the objectives of the Guild.
The Museums of Old York, York, Maine
The Guild donated $2,000 to be used toward the painting of
a wharf of the John Hancock Warehouse and the rebuilding of
two wooden ramps. The John Hancock Warehouse documents three
hundred years of commercial life along the York River. The
John Hancock Warehouse is thought to date from the 1740's.
MUSEUM OF EARLY TRADES AND CRAFTS, Madison, NJ
The museum's mission is to enhance the understanding and appreciation
of America's past by presenting and interpreting the history,
culture and lives of ordinary people through educational programs,
through preservation and stewardship of its collection and
through exhibition and demonstration of the trades and crafts
practiced in NJ from its earliest settlement. The museum has
a library and special programs for children. The Guild donated
$2000 towards the scanning and transcription of a merchant's
log book which will be available on their website.
OLD SALEM MUSEUM AND GARDENS, Winston-Salem,
The town of Salem was founded by
Moravians in 1766. The Moravian Church as well as theresidents
of Salem kept detailed accounts of their lives so that the
recreation of the town today ismost accurate. Costumed tradesmen
and women demonstrate many of the skills in use during the1700s
and 1800s such as creating pottery, furniture, and metal goods.
The Guild presented OldSalem with $2000 to enable the potters
to replicate a quern which was used to grind materials formaking
pottery glazes. The quern consists of two stones, resembling
mill stones, and indeed will bemade by a North Carolina company
that makes gristmills. When in place, the quern will be situatedso
that visitors can enjoy a hands-on experience.
Willard House and Clock Museum, North Grafton, MA
Benjamin Willard began making clocks in his Grafton, MA workshop in 1766. His three younger brothers, Simon, Ephraim and Aaron learned the trade and began a three generation clockmaking legacy. The museum is open to the public for tour and contains over 80 Willard clocks, family portraits, furnishings and the original clock workshop. The Guild of Colonial Artisans and Tradesmen has donated $1,000 to restore the period portrait of Catherine Gatres willard, wife of clockmaker Aaron Willard and mother of clockmaker Aaron Willard Jr.
SILK FABRIC PROJECT, THE Colonial Williamsburg Foundation,
The Guild selected the Silk Fabric Project of The Colonial
Williamsburg Foundation, VA as the 2008 charitable donation
recipient. A gift of $1000 was given to help fund the purchase
of silk fabric to be used in historically correct gowns sewn
by mantua-makers of Colonial Williamsburg. The fabric will
be purchased and produced in England to 18th Century width,
weight and quality. Two gown styles from the Colonial Williamsburg
Collection have been chosen to be reproduced in the new fabric.
One gown style dates from 1770-1785, and the other is a reproduction
of a dress with a Virginia provenance, having been worn by
a Virginia lady in circa 1770-1780.
1785 BARN AND GRANARY, Historic St. Mary's City, MD
The Guild chose Historic St. Mary's City as its 2007 charitable
donation recipient in support of the oldest surviving building
in St. Mary's City. Dated to 1785, the tobacco barn and
granary were constructed by John Mackall, Carpenter. Mackall
versed in colonial Chesapeake architectural traditions,
some of which dated from the 17th Century. The use of riven
clapboard and tilted false plates, as well as the use of
older English methods of joinery are evident in this structure.
Guild's donation will go toward creating story board to
interpret for the public the colonial construction of this
example of carpentry work.
COPELAND SPOON EXHIBIT, Jamestowne Visitors Center, Jamestowne
The Guild was a contributor to a new exhibit housed in the
newly built Jamestowne Visitors Center which opened to the
public in 2007. Displayed on the exterior circular wall of
the Visitors Theatre, is a case housing the oldest discovered
pewter spoon in America, a product of the craftsmanship of
an early Virginian artisan, Joseph Copeland, Pewtersmith. The
spoons original bowl, of this remarkable find, is missing and
drawings depicting the style of the time and how the original
spoon would have looked in its entirety are included. This
is a prominent piece of history and the Guild is very honored
to have played a part in bringing it into the publics view
through our donation supporting the exhibit. Replica Copeland
Pewter Spoons are sold in the gift shop of the Visitors Center.
The Plimoth Plantation Apprenticeship Program, Plymouth, MA
Plimoth Plantation is fortunate to have a dedicated and skilled
staff committed to education. Their apprenticeship programs
offer unique opportunities to people of all ages interested
in various crafts. Currently, apprenticeships are available
in blacksmithing, joinery, historic carpentry, pottery, and
17th century needlework.