Rhonda Florian recently visited a historic house in eastern Pennsylvania and reported that she heard SEVEN history myths on one tour. Surely that’s a record! Rhonda reports:
“These are the ones I heard, but some of them had a little twist to them that I’d never heard before:
1. Most women died of infection from burns acquired while cooking.
2. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater–the line of bathing from head of the house downward to the baby.
3. Petticoat mirrors…I went over and checked to see if I could see my feet in the mirror. NOT POSSIBLE!
4. Heads painted onto generic bodies.
5. Melting wax makeup so they used fire screens to prevent that (but he was actually using a beautiful painted hand fan in a room supposedly designed for Civil War years)
6. Low chairs were used to prevent the women’s skirts from flipping up and they didn’t have arms because the arms would have “shredded” the skirts (this was also in the Civil War room. Apparently, he’s never worn a period correct cage. It doesn’t flip, and I’ve sat in my armed office chair to check my computer. Needless to say, it did not shred my dress.)
But number 7 was one that I had never heard before and in my opinion was the most outrageous claim of all. This colonial style house had the front and back door opposite each other with a hall connecting them. He said there were two purposes for this configuration. First of all, for air flow to get a breeze in the summer time. Secondly, so that they could bring the horse into the house! He said that they would load the wood onto the horse, bring the horse in through the front door, unload the horse, and then take the horse out the back door. He said there were scuff marks on the floor from the horse.
Of course, I looked for the “scuff marks.” There was nothing more than normal wear and tear from human shoes. Nothing at all resembling a hoof print from a horse shoe.”
I’ll decided to leave the name of the house out of this blog post because I don’t want to humiliate anyone. I know they are doing their best. Shall I send them a copy of my book, or would that be too rude?