Summertime is probably not the best time to bring up the topic of stoves, but I've recently learned an interesting story.
Stoves were the first appliance to release women from the kitchen. With the fire contained, they no longer had to stand watch to prevent children from wandering into the hearth, among other things.
Some of the earliest stoves were manufactured at Hopewell Furnace, an early American industrial community in eastern Pennsylvania that operated from 1771 to 1883.
That furnace and surrounding community of 848 acres were purchased by the federal government in 1935. It is now the Hopewell Furnace National Historical Site.
The reason I'm writing is because Hopewell Furnace is coming to Seneca Falls (NY) on Saturday Aug 6, 2011.
Well, not the furnace exactly. But a wonderful play about it called "From Out the Fiery Furnace." It is to be performed at the Wesleyan Chapel of the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY. There will be two performances at 1 PM and 3 PM, which are free and open to the public..
It is a one-act play written and directed by nationally recognized playwright, Christine Emmert, and performed by veteran stage and screen actress, Barbara Hannevig (and a very dear friend of mine). It features features the stories of life in the 19th century at Hopewell Furnace.
Barb, as the star of this one-woman, one-act play, demonstrates how a woman’s life and love could be singularly tracked through her relationship with a Hopewell Stove. She brings to life several characters of the period including runaway slaves, “fallen” women, indentured servants, orphaned children, and others and also sings to tell the story of this remarkable piece of our history.
Consider a road trip to Seneca Falls this weekend to be entertained, amused, and even a little educated.