For those who do not know, I organize a living history group that portrays the Maryland Signers of the Declaration for Independence, the Paca Family, friends, relatives and people of the town! No, I do not live in Maryland, but somehow this happened several years ago after London Town and Gardens changed their programming from first person to third and our reasons for being there disappeared. Third person is great for reenactments and docents when you are not portraying people of the time. We made such an impression on the new VP of Education at Historic Annapolis, that she invited us there. We are forever grateful to Lisa.
A few members of the group March 2022 - L-R: Jim McGaughey, Charles Aldrich, Michelle Aldrich, Earl Shibe, Me, Matthew West, and Michael Halbert
Our group is on-site about four times a year at the Paca House and we are honored to be there. We also portray people of the town, as well as indenture and convict servants. If you want to follow us on Facebook - you can check out when we will be at the house.
This is Carolyn who portrays Sarah, a convict servant, who is out in the gardens.
I am very well versed at the cooking arts of the time period (please check out my books here on this website and where to buy them - hint hint in my Etsy shop!), and you can sometimes find me in the kitchen area; however, Carolyn loves to be there when I cannot be or vice versa for our events. We are often preparing dinner for the Pacas and their guests, and Mrs. Paca adds additional visitors to the dinner table much to our chagrin.
This is Gema Gonzalez (sitting) who portrays Mrs. Mary Chew Paca, and a neighbor Elizabeth Bersche who portrays Mrs. Mary MadcCubbin Brice in the Dining Room.
I enjoyed a day in the gardens with Michelle Aldrich who portrays Mrs. Margaret Tilghman Carroll in which to extend our interpretation outside on the nice days. We did have wind, it was a bit cool, and we had a few spring sun showers come through, but overall it was a gorgeous day. We were able to interact with the visitors and talk a bit about what Mrs. Paca would have planted in the gardens come the Spring planting season. Mrs. Paca has a nice medicinal garden on the property.
Michelle and I on the path to the Summer House. Photo taken by Gema Gonzalez.
The men enjoyed a day in Mr. Paca's "hall" or office, and also played cards and talked politics in the parlor. The visitors were received by Mr. Paca and spoke of business, politics, and taxes.
Chillin in Mr. Paca's Office with Mr. Samuel Chase (sitting).
Mr. John Hall, Esq., arrives at the Paca House - portrayed by Earl Shibe.
All of our events are very well researched, a scenario is created, and all is coordinated with Historic Annapolis so that we are on track to portray the family, friends, etc., to the best of our ability with the information that we know. We are an elite group with some of the best clothing and interpreters on the East Coast. Many of us dig even deeper into our characters so that we can create the person from the time as best that we can. We have great fun, and often socialize after our events with dinner in town - and love Reynold's Tavern where we feel at home.
The Carrolls - Charles Carroll the Barrister and Mrs. Margaret Tilghman Carroll
Michael Halbert portrays Mr. Brice Thomas Beale Worthington. All of these men were lawyers and on the legislature in town, either upper or lower houses.
For those who may want to participate with us, do you have what it takes, I bet you do!? If so, please contact me through our Facebook page - link above. Please have past experience and photos available for us as our group is very particular of who is in it, how you look, your attitude and seriousness of portraying your character - please also just come to an event to see if you like what you see!
All photos, unless otherwise noted, are taken by Ken Tom on behalf of Historic Annapolis.
I portray Mrs. Margaret Chew Bordley, sister to Mary Chew Paca.
Photo taken by Michelle Aldrich.