Next door to our school is the Rock Hall Museum. Our class took a tour with two wonderful and knowledgeable guides, Linda Barreira, the museum director, and Amy Vacchio, who is the docent.
We began with a video of the history of Rock Hall. We were able to tour the basement, first and second floors. There is also a small gift shop. Each room displayed as it would have been back in the day with either items original to the house or items from that time period.
Josiah Martin, who was native to the island of Antigua, built Rock Hall in 1767 because he wanted a grand house for his family. Martin’s daughter Elizabeth married the last Royal Governor of North Carolina. There is a portrait of Josiah’s granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth, in the dining room at Rock Hall. Eventually, Thomas Hewlett acquired Rock Hall in 1824. The Hewlett family owned Rock Hall for 125 years and donated the house to the Town of Hempstead.
Visiting Rock Hall Museum has helped us to see what it would have been like to live around here 200 years ago. The beds were so small, and there were no indoor bathrooms. All the food had to be stored in the cellar since there were no refrigerators. There was even a real doll house of Rock Hall in one of the bedrooms.
We especially loved meeting Peter (the one with the funny teeth) and Paul — two alpaca that live at Rock Hall. They ate the leaves we fed them and are so cute. They also have lots of chickens running around that came right up to us.
Rock Hall has educational tours, craft workshops, storytelling and fairs. We had so much fun and you should check it out.
Info: 199 Broadway, Lawrence. friendsofrockhall.org
Jean Mahland and Sharon Mor’s fourth-grade class, Lawrence Elementary School