Riversdale House Museum
A wedding breakfast is a Victorian English term used to define the meal eaten after the ceremony, no matter what time of day it occurred. This breakfast could consist of a light buffet to a full meal. In Victorian times, a wedding breakfast also could take the form of a luncheon, or a light repast. The June 6, 1839 wedding of Charles Benedict Calvert and Charlotte Augusta Norris is being interpreted as this type of light repast consisting of sherbets, oyster patties, sweetbreads, salads, ices, cheese, salted almonds, olives, and other light refreshments. In addition, cakes also accompanied a wedding meal. According to period cookery books, the most common type of wedding cake in America in the 19th century was the fruit cake, iced beautifully. Finally, punch was also included in the celebration. For instance, the 1817 wedding supper of Ann Maria Hollingsworth to John Morris in Baltimore involved punch. In a letter written about the wedding by the bride’s aunt, Deborah Cochran, she noted “very supperb” [sic] supper was served at 9:30 pm and was followed by punch drinking attended by upwards of 100 people.”
To commemorate the 220th Anniversary of the 1799 marriage of Rosalie Stier and George Calvert, the original residents of Riversdale, join us for a special exhibition celebrating Calvert family weddings throughout the past 220 years.
Through a collection of decorative arts, primary sources, and items generously loaned to the museum by Calvert descendants, including clothing, jewelry, photographs, invitations, and special wedding gifts, this exhibit explores 220 years of wedding traditions and Calvert family history. The histories and stories of enslaved families and marriages who lived and worked at Riversdale will also be highlighted in this exhibit.
ALSO ON HAND PROVIDED BY MARYLANDERS FROM ACROSS THE STATE WERE:
In 2018, I was privileged to be asked to help create this event celebrating Maryland’s food traditions. Working with a fantastic committee and local chefs, a menu rich in Maryland’s historic culinary traditions was crafted and served to scores of patrons.
I also worked with MDHS staff to create a mini-exhibition of Maryland foodways traditions (see photos above).
FALL 2018 DISPLAY
SPRING 2018 DISPLAY
WINTER 2018 DISPLAY
SPRING 2017 DISPLAY
2017 HOLIDAY DISPLAY
WINTER 2017 DISPLAY
HOLIDAY 2016 DISPLAY
HOLIDAY 2015 DISPLAY
SPRING 2015 DISPLAY
HOLIDAY 2014 DISPLAY
EVERY JANUARY I SERVE ABOUT 60 PARTICIPANTS WHO ATTEND THE ANNUAL 12TH NIGHT BALL!
For the holiday intertpretation in 2007, an exhibition was created throughout the house showcasing the type of jobs the enslaved workers had to do to create the lavish lifestyle of the slave owners.