Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things about Compass Inn

This is where the boyz and I went when we visited my mum last weekend.
1. It is an original fully restored stagecoach stop built in 1799.

2. I learn something new every time I go there.

3. It is my one of my favorite historical sites to visit.

4. Do you know how we got the phrase "shotgun"? Back in the stage coach days you had 2 riders on the front seat - the driver who managed the horses and the other seat was called "shotgun" because they had to hold the shotgun to protect the stagecoach from animals and other humans.

I wish you could see Little S's face better in this pic. He just looks so happy and full of love.

5. The original Conestoga Wagon was set up with 6 horses. There are only 2 original sets left in the whole world. One set is in storage at the Smithsonian and the other is on display here.

6. To go along with this, if you look at the hitch on the bottom left you will see that it also has a saddle on it. Back in the day, people would hike from place to place. When a Conestoga wagon would come along, they would often pick up a hiker and they would sit in this seat. Therefore they were a "hitch hiker".

7. They ate of off lead plates and drank out of lead mugs back then. Many of them ended up dying of lead poisoning. Their biggest fear though was eating baked bread. They thought that it wasn't done in the middle and therefore you would get deathly sick eating it. This is when they started making toast.

8. They had a community cook house. The oven was called a BeeHive oven. You can see why from the shape of it below. The owner of the inn would get it all ready and cook all of her food for the week. Then when she was done, the neighbors and such would come over and cook their food. The oven would stay very hot for several days.

9. See that feather there resting on the oven? It had several uses. There is also a fireplace to the right. Once in a while the fire would crackle and some sparks would come out. The feather was used to brush them back into the fireplace. It also came in mighty handy as a fan on a hot day.

10. Below is a picture from the Blacksmith shop. See that red thing there. Back then they used oxen for as they did horse. Oxen do not have good balance. Therefore, they would walk the ox in between those two red arms and then they would put the strap under them and lift them slightly to steady them while they were being shooed.

11. Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite. This phrase also came from back in that time. The beds were made of rope and straw. Before you would go to sleep you would have to use a special toy to tighten the ropes (sleep tight). Also being that the beds were made of straw, there were a lot of critters living in the bed, especially lice and other bugs (don't let the bed bugs bite). Often if you didn't check in with bugs, you would check out with them.

12. The reason that we call a bar, a bar is due to the fact that when the proprietor back then thought his guest had enough to drink, he would close the alcohol in a room with bars. This is also how we got many of the terms used in the judiciary system. Back then judges would come to you. They would often sit behind the bars. When the council wanted to talk to the judge they would come up beside the bar (sidebar). And the protectors of the judge were the barristers.

13. I will leave you with my favorite picture from our visit that weekend:

Just looking at this picture makes me feel like I have stepped back in time. The weekend we went was living history weekend. It was really hot that day and some of the people scheduled didn't show up. But we still learned a lot. I hope that you learned a little something after reading this also.



Shana said...

Very cool. Great info and nice pictures

meg said...

As you know, I love this kind of stuff :-)
And, yes- we do dress in period costume (1890-1910), complete with hat & gloves, & yes, it does get pretty warm :-S
Fortunately, the powers-that-be put in A/C years ago- on heavy tour days (like Ice Cream Social this month),I stand over the vent/register ;-)

Becca said...

Very cool!