August 14, 2010

The Biddle House

Our recent trip to the Mackinac Island was enjoyable in every way.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect, temperatures in the low 70s and low humidity.
After strolling around town and seeing the famous Grand Hotel, we thought that we had seen enough for the day...little did we know, there was a surprise ahead...

The Biddle House...

Peeking in the doorway and pulling out our Fort tickets, we were warmly greeted and invited in by a couple of young ladies, ready to share what life would have been like "back in the day".

Scalloped Potatoes and Corn Fritters on the day's menu!

Those layers of petticoats actually protected the women from the heat
of the kitchen!  

Mr. and Mrs. Biddle's bedroom...

We walked up to the quilt frame and I was asked if I would like to
assist them with the quilting.    I did!

Then, there was the wool and the spinning... 
As I've recently mentioned, I would like to learn more about homespun yarns.
I got some basic information during this demonstration!
Not trusting my memory, I took notes.

I was told that if you look at these wool fibers under a microscope, you will see that it is a lot like Velcro.  That is why you can pull the fibers from a mass or add to it so easily. I asked if handling the the fibers dried out the hands, surprisingly the answer is no - the wool has lanolin oils in it (the wool yarns that we buy in the stores have most of the lanolin removed). 

Would I ever buy a spinning wheel?  I don't know.  I was intrigued just the same!
I enjoyed looking at all the accessories on the table for yarn holding and yarn setting...found them to be cleverly-made.
We are so fortunate to choose this as a craft!  Looking back on those days, this was a daily chore, not a hobby.  In fact, I was told that as soon as the stores were stocking yarns, Mrs. Biddle was buying them!

The Biddle House just rounded out a perfect visit to the Mackinac Island!
Additional pictures of the island are on my travel blog, A Turtle's Journal.


  1. I would have loved the trip to the Biddle House, thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Donna, You and all our friends were in my thoughts as I enjoyed this tour!

    I forgot to mention that we talked about the items used for dyeing the wool. Onion skins from the kitchen scraps, blueberries and blue false indigo from the backyard. I think it was the blue false indigo that gave the wool a pretty sage color - I've got to go back through my notes to make sure.

  3. Interesting! We were there a few years ago but somehow missed the Biddle House. :( Guess we'll need to go back, right? Have you ever seen so many fudge shops?

  4. Hi Judy!
    We almost walked past the Biddle House! The houses nearby were eye-catching and grabbing all the attention!
    Everyone sells fudge, you noticed that too! I finally asked someone why. She said it goes back to the 1800s. Then I looked it up and it goes back to the year the Grand Hotel opened. Shhhh!...I didn't buy any, Hubby did get the Mackinac Fudge Ice Cream though and taaaaalked about how gooood it was!


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