The Jefferson Township Museum, also known as the George Chamberlain House, will have an open house on Sunday, May 7, 2017, from 1 to 4 pm. Admission is free. Costumed docents will be available to talk about this Victorian home. The theme of this month’s exhibit is “Pteridomania: The Victorian Fern Craze.”
The Victorian fern craze led to Adventure, Romance, and Crime. 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)
For further information, refer to the Jefferson Township’s Historical Society website at www.jthistoricalsociety.org, or call Christine Williams, Jefferson Township Historical Society President at 973-697-0258.