The c. 1721 Trent House, Trenton, New Jersey

Trent House. View of South elevation. Source: TCM

The Trent House was built around 1721 (although a plaque on its wall puts the date at 1719) by William Trent, after whom New Jersey’s state capital is named.  It replaced an earlier house built by Mahlon Stacy.

The house was modified and expanded over the next 200 years. In the 1930s, a WPA project removed the later additions, uncovering the brick well and  restoring the house to its original appearance.

The Trent House prior to the removal of the eastern wing and greenhouse. The well was located beneath this addition. Source: Library of Congress/Historic American Buildings Survey

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“Almost any collection is a good collection”

Making use of museum-based collections — even, or especially, from sites excavated nearly one hundred years ago — is essential to regional research. Julia A. King writes about collections-based research in the first of a series of posts on collections and curation at the SHA’s website. King’s insight comes from her work on the “Colonial Encounters: The Lower Potomac Valley at Contact, 1500-1720” project, which synthesized data from over 30 archaeological sites in Maryland and Virginia.
One unsurprising conclusion: “Perhaps the most troubling issue we observed is a disciplinary mindset (for want of a better phrase) which continues to foster the never-ending field season, resulting in un-cataloged or under-cataloged collections along with no site report.”

Read it at SHA.org

Swedish Colonial Foodways

Beef, Beer and Bread: Colonial Foodways
The annual New Sweden History Conference, held at the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia, will focus on food this year. From the website:
Five speakers will discuss various aspects of culinary history—from the kitchens of Stockholm to the brew houses of Philadelphia. The keynote speaker is author, chef, and Swedish food historian Dr. Ulrica Söderlind. Dr. Söderlind holds a PhD from the University of Stockholm. She has written five books on topics such as, the role of food in Swedish social history, and the culinary history of the Nobel Banquet. Her conference session will focus on the cooking practices of a 17th century Swedish noble household. Additional speakers include David Furlow, who will be discussing the significance of cattle as an important part of New Sweden’s economy; Rich Wagner will lead an engaging discussion on the intricacies of colonial beer brewing. In the spirit of this year’s theme, a special lunch will be served featuring colonial recipes and, of course, beer.
The conference is Saturday, November 8, 2014. Registration is $45 and includes breakfast and lunch. For more information: www.americanswedish.org