Originally published in The Weekly Packet, August 1, 2013
BHHS chooses “tasting” over “touring” to lure area historians
John and Elizabeth Knapp from Swarthmore, Pa., were among the first to visit Blue Hill Historical Society’s Holt House on Saturday, July 27. Here, John Knapp, right, is “Tasting Through Time” by sampling cookies from historic recipes while talking with BHHS Board member Cordell Snow.
by Bette Britt
The Blue Hill Historical Society took advantage of its location at the Holt House on Saturday, July 27, and used the dining room with its stenciled walls as the focal point of its Touring Through Time activities by offering cookies made in modern ovens from long-ago recipes. As if to prove the point, BHHS was serious when it appealed to tasting rather than touring, recipes for taking home were printed on colored cards beside each plate of cookies. And in most instances the original recipe, hand-written and tinted tan with age, was on display in the kitchen with historians waiting to point out the lack of an egg in one recipe or that baking times were vague, oven temperatures ignored.
After sampling cookies and sipping pink lemonade, it was natural to tour the handsome and historic house on Water Street, which had been the home of local families within memory of most members of the Blue Hill Historical Society. Many of the guides on hand Saturday, such as Cordell Snow, have ties to the community that go back for generations. Besides beautifully furnished rooms, the 1815 house holds trinkets and documents from early times because Blue Hill was settled 250 years ago. An adjacent building, the so-called carriage house, housed a photo exhibit this year during Touring Through Time.
For those who missed the event, the Holt House is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday in summer months, and a schedule of special events is available at bluehillhistory.org.