Victorian Craft Demonstrations Featured at McLoughlin House

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Date: March 9, 2007
Contact: John Salisbury, 503-656-5151
Contact: Kimm Fox-Middleton, 360-816-6243

Victorian Craft Demonstrations Featured at McLoughlin House Site

Oregon City, OR - The National Park Service at the McLoughlin House Unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site announces the continuation of its popular public program series highlighting and demonstrating Victorian-era ladies' handwork and crafts.

"Crafts, needlework and other sorts of handwork were very important in the lives of Victorian women," said Tracy Hill, a National Park Service volunteer and McLoughlin Memorial Association Manager. "They provided an outlet for artistic expression, allowed a woman to create a beautiful home, and kept her occupied in useful tasks - a virtuous woman did not waste time! Many of our modern crafts first became popular during the 1800s, and it is interesting to note the similarities and differences."

"Seeing these crafts demonstrated gives us a window into the lives of women of the period," added Greg Shine, Chief Ranger & Historian. "It helps us to understand them in a very different way than just reading about what they did."

These programs will feature demonstrations of a different type of craft each month, and will be held on Saturday afternoons from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

They will be held at the McLoughlin House Unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, located at 713 Center Street, Oregon City, Oregon.

The March program will feature Berlin Wool Work. This grandmother of needlepoint was extremely popular in the 1800s, and it was one of the first crafts to make fine needlework available to ordinary people. The program will be held on Saturday, March 31, 2007, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

April's program will feature Beaded Flower-Making. The Victorians loved flowers, and fashioned delicate creations of beads and wire that would never fade. What better finishing touch could you add to a bonnet than a sparkling flower? The program will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2007, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

May’s program title has yet to be determined and will be held Saturday, May 19,2007, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Other cultural demonstrations will be coming later this year, including Watercolor Painting, Ladies Fashion and Sewing, Pressed Flower Work, and Bonnet Making. Some of these cultural demonstrations will provide visitors a hands-on opportunity.


The McLoughlin House was added to the National Park System in 2003 as a unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The house is restored to honor the life and accomplishments of John McLoughlin, the "Father of Oregon." The graves of McLoughlin and his wife Marguerite are next to the house, as is the home of Dr. Forbes Barclay, a Hudson's Bay Company associate, and his wife Maria.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi river, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver's role in regional and national development. The Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.


Last updated: February 28, 2015

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