Behind the Scenes

White House Wednesday | Behind the Stanchions | Entrance Hall Closets

By Bryce VanStavern
White House Specialist

 

“What are these doors?” It is a question that comes to us with some degree of regularity in the Entrance Hall on White House of the Confederacy tours.

Let me explain. There are four sets of doors in the Entrance Hall. The first set is, of course, the front doors of the home. Across the Entrance Hall from the front doors are the doors to the Parlors. On either side of the front door, in the curve of this oval space, are two, single doors that appear to open…into the wall.

White House Wednesday | Behind the Stanchions | What is That?

By Bryce VanStavern
White House Specialist

As visitors go through the White House of the Confederacy, one of their most common questions is, “What is that?” There are many items in the house, unique to the 19th century, the purpose of which is initially…illusive. There are three objects in particular that we will most certainly be asked about on almost every tour. If you have ever wondered which are the most asked about objects in the house, read on.

White House Wednesday | White House Evening Tours Give Voice to Untold Stories

By Patrick Saylor
Director, Marketing Communication

Old homes hold many stories within their walls, and the house at 12th and Clay Streets in Richmond is no exception. As the residence of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family from 1861-1865, the White House was the scene of many conversations and interactions, both public and private, among family members, free and enslaved servants, and visitors.

White House Wednesday | Behind the Stanchions | Two Men, Two Different Choices

By Bryce VanStavern
Interpretation Supervisor

I once worked with an interpreter who told a visitor, “I can’t answer any question that begins, ‘Why did they’.” I chuckled at that, but he did go on to explain that sometimes we simply cannot understand motivation. In many cases, well meaning attempts to understand the “Why did they” question leads to some extraordinary and persistent myths.

White House Wednesday | Behind the Stanchions | A New Path

 

By Bryce VanStavern
Interpretation Supervisor

In 1988 the White House of the Confederacy opened to the public for tours after a 12-year restoration. In preparing for public tours, staff had to decide how best to guide visitors through two floors of the house. Much thought went into making those decisions, and for almost 30 years, tours of the White House of the Confederacy have followed the same path.

White House Wednesday: Behind the Stanchions | The Davis Bust

By Brianna Kirk
Lead Historical Interpreter

Everyone likes getting new things. With the holidays just past, many are enjoying new gifts as they start the new year.

Historians like getting new things, too. One of the rewards of working in a historic home is the plethora of artifacts that are donated. Each comes with its own interesting, and often fascinating, story.

White House Wednesday: Behind the Stanchions | The Kissing Ball

 

By Bryce VanStavern
Interpretation Supervisor

I suspect most of our visitors don’t know it’s there. It isn’t easy to see. It’s in a bit of a dark recess over their heads. But if you’ve ever wanted to steal a kiss in the White House of the Confederacy, Christmas season is your chance. Hanging in the doorway between the Central and Western Parlors is a Kissing Ball.

A Kissing Ball is a sphere of greenery with a bit of mistletoe affixed to the bottom. A red bow makes this a perfect Christmas decoration.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Behind the Scenes

Share This