Eastfield Village: Total Immersion Into The Past

In the quest for unique and in depth educational opportunities, I signed up for several workshops at Eastfield village, which is located near the small town of Nassau in Upstate New York. Don Carpentier rescued numerous early buildings and set up workshops on a large variety of early american crafts. He has created an educational opportunity like none other.

Eastfield is a located in a rural area, and for far from Portland, Oregon. And yet, it is well worth the travel. Students and instructors come from around the world for intensive classes. Many of the students are experts in their own right and everyone learns from each other. This was second trip to this wonderful place as a student.

Here you see the William Briggs Tavern, a late 18th Century building that is the social gathering hub of the Village. There are three private guest rooms on the main level, and upstairs there are men and women’s areas with multiple rope beds to accommodate visitors. The common areas of the William Briggs Tavern has a cage bar, cooking hearths, and is appointed in period appropriate furnishings and decorative arts.

Cooking is done in a hearth. There is an early stone sink that is a period piece. There is no running water or electricity in the Village buildings, so sometimes a hose is run under the window to help when large meals are being prepared. Hearth cooking is both an art and science, and it takes practice and familiarity to develop the skills necessary to produce a large meal as these images illustrate. The tables are set at the William Briggs Tavern, and you can see people come both in contemporary and period attire.

Guests can also stay in the Old Tavern (aka the Yellow Tavern). Like the William Briggs Tavern, it has communal areas, cooking hearths, a cage bar, and a pantry with a period stone sink. Sleeping areas are upstairs in rope beds with straw filled ticking. Students completed the stenciling on the walls in a workshop held at the Village some years ago. The bathroom is the outhouse located behind the Tavern.

Don has much of his own Redware Pottery along with an amazing array of antiques for sale in the Brown’s General Store.

To read more about Eastfield Village, stay tuned for my next blog entry “Eastfield Village: An Educational Opportunity Like None Other”.

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