J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dining at Gore Place, 29 Oct.

Gore Place in Waltham was commissioned by Christopher Gore, Boston’s leading corporate attorney when corporations were just getting started, and his wife Rebecca. He served one term as governor and late in life became debilitated with arthritis, no longer able to work or easily travel to their home in Boston.

In 1825, the couple hired Robert Roberts (1780-1860) as a butler. Two years later, Christopher Gore died, and Roberts (perhaps needing new income) published The House Servant’s Directory, full of instructions on the tasks necessary for running a major house. That book can thus be our guide to how the Gores lived.

On Thursday, 29 October, at 6:30 P.M., Gore Place is hosting a lecture on food, which no doubt draws on Roberts’s book. The announcement of the talk says:

Noted foodways scholar Sandy Oliver offers a fun and informative talk on dining manners in the time of the Gores. Sandy began working in food history in 1971 when she founded the fireplace cooking program at Mystic Seaport Museum. She continues researching historic foodways and speaks before professional and public audiences at museums, historical and culinary organizations.

Sandy teaches historic recipe research and responds to media requests on historic food. When asked, she provides training programs in historic cooking for museum interpreters. She is the author of Saltwater Foodways and Food in Colonial and Federal America. She co-authored Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes with Kathleen Curtin of Plimoth Plantation.
A talk like this is bound to be appetizing, and Gore Place promises “period food and libations” at a reception afterwards. Tickets cost $18, or $15 for Gore Place members. For reservations, call 781-894-2798.

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