The Blue Grass Regency Society traveled through the heart of the Bluegrass on Saturday morning to the William Whitley House. As you can see in the above picture, the beautiful landscape was shrouded in a non-stopping rain for the majority of the morning and afternoon. Thankfully, the estate had a picnic shelter in which we huddled comfortably.
I longed to set out and explore, but I was terrified of ruining my dress. I should have pulled a Marianne and walked through the rain anyway (whispering "Willoughby...Willoughby" and quoting Shakespearean sonnets.)
I over came my fear by pinning up the back of my train, and stepping out briefly during a lull to have my picture taken.
Here's a close-up shot of Jane's gown...the one I made from scraps of my own. I made it to have split sleeves, which was a style worn by little girls during the Regency era. It has two drawstrings, one at the waist, and one at the neckline, and both tie at the back. Because I used scrap fabric, it came out a tiny bit short on her, and I should have made pantlets, but I ran out of time. That will have to be a future project.
Thankfully, the clouds parted toward the end of the afternoon, allowing us a glorious moment of sunshine and blue sky, in which we set out to carefully explore a wee bit of the grounds (the grass was still wet and very muddy, mind you...so we didn't go far.) At the end of the day, we were a bit damp and our hems, unfortunately, were be-speckled with mud, but these trials were well worth it for the good fellowship of a few members of the Blue Grass Regency Society, and comfortable hospitality of the Whitley family home.
The house in itself is fascinating, full of quirky interior windows, hidden staircases, faux walls and hiding holes (to keep the 11 Whitley children safe from Indian raids). The bravery of the family is evident in these things, but the interior furnishings show a carefully balanced juxtaposition between this courage and the family's simple, civility and elegance.
We set up our feast under the shelter, and enjoyed a delicate salad, strawberries, and an assortment of cheeses. Coffee was our friend, and warmed us through.
The piece de resistance of the fiest was my White-pot.
I hope to return some day (perhaps a slightly less wet one) to this lovely bit of Kentucky history. An over-all good time was had by all (in spite of the rain.)