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The George Ranch Blog

13 May2020

Spiritualism in the Victorian Age

By ALLISON PARROTT Site Lead, 1930s George Ranch House The next time you visit the George Ranch Historical Park, you’ll get to take a look at upper-class Victorian life during a tour of the 1890s Davis Victorian Mansion. Upstairs, you’ll see the family’s bedrooms – including the childhood room of Mamie Davis (later Mamie...

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08 May2020

Magic Elixir: Snake Oil Salesmen and Patent Medicine of the Late 1800s

By Cassie Munnell and Allison Harrell While the concept of “patent medicine” in America can be traced back at least to the Colonial era, its heyday lasted from the Civil War through the early 1900s. The term “patent medicine” usually refers to elixirs, tonics or liniments protected by trademark – but often containing questionable...

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06 May2020

Five (Unusual!) 1860s Recipes You Can Cook for Dinner Tonight

By MEGAN CROMEENS Site Lead, 1860s Ryon Prairie Home Sometimes the past dishes up some…unusual…dinner options. The following five recipes were immensely popular in the mid-19th century and were found in “Mrs. Beeton’s Every Day Cookery and Housekeeping Book,” which was originally published in 1861. If you had to try one today, which one...

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05 May2020

Historic Graveyard Symbolism

By ALLISON PARROTT Site Lead, 1930s George Ranch Home If you have ever visited the 1890s Davis Victorian Mansion, you may have noticed the original family cemetery fenced off to the side underneath some beautiful large oak trees. Most of the family’s first and second generations are buried there; later generations were buried at...

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05 May2020

Willie Thomas: A George Ranch Legend

Willie Thomas was born on January 30, 1930 in Richmond, Texas. He was born to Johnnie and Josephine Thomas who had worked on the Ranch since 1925. He attended school in Crabb, just down the road from Richmond, until the age of 9 when he left school to help his family. Willie started working...

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04 May2020

Plants in Our Victory Garden

By ALLISON PARROTT Site Lead, 1930s George Ranch Home Curious about the plants we’re growing in our Victory Garden at the George Ranch Home? Here are the plants that are currently growing or will be growing later this summer in our garden, along with planting tips. Did you plant a Victory Garden this spring?...

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01 May2020

A Quick Guide to Victorian Etiquette

By ALLISON PARROTT Site Lead, 1930s George Ranch Home Looking for a fun stay-at-home date for you and your special someone? Try dining the proper Victorian way tonight! During the Victorian era, the dining room was not just a room to eat meals; it was also a way to display your wealth with every...

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27 Apr2020

Texas Dandelion Dyeing: A Tutorial

Dyeing is the process of adding color to material. Until 1856, all dyes, paints and colors had to be taken from natural sources such as plants, animals and minerals. The process of dyeing is quite simple: Soak the item to be dyed in mordant. Mordant makes the dye colorfast. Soak the item in dye....

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24 Apr2020

The Families Who Helped Build A Legacy: The Taylor/Murray and Thomas Families

This is a continuation of a blog series on the families who lived and worked alongside the Jones, Ryon, Davis and George families here at the George Ranch. Click here for part one. Click here for part two. Click here for part three. When Mamie George built a new home in the late 1800s, she...

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22 Apr2020

Victorian Flower Language

The Victorian era (1837-1901) was a time filled with rules and regulations for proper etiquette. Especially for the upper class, the time period had “dos and don’ts” for every aspect of daily life — including what could and couldn’t be said during conversations. Enter the complex world of floriography — the silent language of...

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