The Jefferson Township Museum, also known as the George Chamberlain House, will have an open house on Sunday, August 6, 2017, from 1 to 4 pm. Admission is free.
Costumed docents will be available to talk about this Victorian home. There is a beautiful and informative display of ferns throughout the building. Pteridomania is the name for this Victorian Fern Craze. Having live ferns in the home was very popular during the Victorian era.
There will also be some examples of “Scherenschnitte” on display – The Victorian art of papercutting. The Museum, located at 315 Dover-Milton Road, was entered into the National and State Registers of Historic Places in 2010. Be sure to visit Miss Elizabeth’s Shoppe located in the original kitchen of the Museum. The Shoppe is packed with new and vintage items for sale, perfect for spring or anytime.
More Background on Fern Fever: The Story of Pteridomania
Of all the many passions and crazes in nineteenth-century gardening and natural history, none was as long lasting or as wide reaching as fern fever, or Pteridomania as it became known. The obsession with ferns was not confined to a few professional botanists but it affected men, women and children from all classes through the British Isles, the Empire and America.
Books and articles encouraged thousands to set out on fern forays. Their overwhelming desire to 'capture' a rare specimen led them to wade through streams, scale rock faces, descend gorges and lean over fast-flowing rivers. Accidents were common, sometimes fatal, and over-collecting and even fern stealing were rife. (Credit Sarah Whittingham)