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McLoughlin House Reopens February 11

The McLoughlin House unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will re-open to the public on Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. The site’s opening will showcase some exciting new programs: a new exhibit of historic nineteenth century quilts; a hands-on demonstration of rug-hooking, and some big changes inside the McLoughlin House.

Two 1840s quilts from a private collection adorn the girls bedroom at McLoughlin House, HEIDI PIERSON, NPS

Through the end of March, the McLoughlin House hosts a new exhibit of nineteenth century quilts from local quilt historian Eileen Trestain’s personal collection. “This is a way to see spectacular quilts that are not normally on view,” said Museum Technician Heidi Pierson, “and we are quite fortunate to have this opportunity.”

As part of the ongoing Victorian Cultural Demonstration Series, there will be hands-on rug-hooking. Rug hooking is a method of rug making that makes use of scrap wool. Long wool strips are pulled through the holes in an open weave fabric to make a decorative rug or mat. “Craft demonstrations are great way to learn something new,” said Tracy Hill, the McLoughlin Memorial Association (MMA) coordinator, “we look forward to sharing these, sometimes obscure, crafts with our visitors. In fact, most of our projects are suitable for all ages and skill levels to enjoy!”

The McLoughlin House itself has a new interior look. The functions of some of the rooms have changed to improve the accuracy of the house museum. “The house has a wondrous history and saw many different uses and room arrangements, from a private residence to a boarding house and hotel. Our goal is to have the McLoughlin House interior begin to look more as is would have when the extended McLoughlin family lived here,” explained Pierson. “We are slowly and mindfully beginning this process. Other changes, based on planning documents and studies like the Historic Structures Report and Historic Furnishings Plan, will continue to make the house interior more reflective of its look in the mid-nineteenth century era of significance.

McLoughlin House Opens: Saturday, February 11; 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Rug Hooking Demonstration: Saturday, February 11, from Noon to 4 p.m. This is a drop-in program, so come by any time between noon and 4 p.m.

Quilt Exhibit: February 11 through the end of March.

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