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Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Laundress's Life at Fort Michilimackinac by Carrie Fancett Pagels



Laundress Reenactor at Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, Michigan

This summer I had the privilege of promoting my new release My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring up North, staying in Mackinaw City for a month! And we rented a cottage only a half mile from Colonial Michilimackinac, one of the Michigan State Historical Parks in the area.  So a beautiful walk along the Lake Huron shoreline away, we were able to enjoy programming at the fort! 
One of the wonderful presentations was about the role of the laundress at colonial forts. I was surprised to hear that the wife of a soldier could earn well more than her husband, by taking in laundry! I've read so many things about camp followers fulfilling these roles but I'd not thought about the many enlisted men's wives who might do so.  

The married enlisted men lived in homes inside the fort such as this one depicted below. So if the soldier's wife was a laundress, he'd enjoy a much more comfortable home because her funds could help purchase more goods.

Once previously we had a post about laundry day, by Lori Benton, (Click here to read).

One of the challenges a colonial-era laundress faced in the forts was in getting out stains in white shirts. A lot of scrubbing happened, and the sun helped, but if you want to know more about how laundresses worked their magic, we suggest you plan a trip to beautiful Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City!

Check out the huge pots of hot water and the way the garments are "hung" up. The depiction shown is during the time of British occupation of Fort Michilimackinac. The fort was originally made by the French, later was taken over by the British, was moved to Mackinac Island, and eventually the Americans took possession (before the Brits grabbed it again for a while!)

Have you heard? NINE of our Colonial Quills authors are part of the Backcountry Brides collection, from Barbour Publishing, which releases this spring in May! My novella, "Shenandoah Hearts" is set right before the onset of the French-Indian War and includes some forted drama. You can pre-order at Christian Book Distributors.


I will be one of the guests at the Virginia ACFW Facebook party on Friday, September 1st, with the 5:00 PM spot. Come by and visit with us for a chance to win a giveaway (click here). And my colonial-era novel Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter is part of this Celebrate Lit giveaway (click here.)

Giveaway:  Choice of RT Book Reviews' Top Pick Carrie's Mackinac Island-set novel or any of her books, including this upcoming release. Answer this question to enter the giveaway: Can you imagine living inside a colonial-era fort?


13 comments:

  1. I cannot imagine living in a colonial era fort. Nope, not at all!
    Give me air conditioning and modern appliances!
    I do love the people that do the historical presentations though. They are such great educators.

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  2. I forgot to say, I can't wait to read The Backcountry Brides Collection! So many of my favorite authors in one book!

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    1. We just got a peek at our cover! Our authors know their colonial facts do I am hoping this is a well-received book! Blessing! And congrats on winning on the giveaway!

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  3. I love the fort! Some day I want to be there when they are baking in that outdoor oven. :) Actually, some day I'd like to BE one of the reenactors. If only we lived a bit closer.

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    1. Pegg, I often thought of being one of the reenactors too.
      Blessings, Tina

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    2. You would be an awesome reenactor there, Pegg. You too Tina! Hugs!

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  4. I'm sure doing all that heavy laundry would have been hard labor. Specially without a washer like we are used to. Scrubbing is just not fun! sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

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    1. Heck I used to complain doing my weekly hand washing items Sonja! I can't imagine all of my laundry by hand!

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  5. Great post Carrie!
    I can only imagine the back-breaking work that went into doing the laundry and everything else involved living in a colonial-era fort.
    Blessings, Tina

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    1. I am looking forward to reading the Backcountry Brides collection.
      Blessings, Tina

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    2. I would be laid up for sure doing all that laundry! Thanks Tina, we hope you will review our collection! Blessings

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