Needlework expert Kathleen Franetovich will be at Hays House Museum in Bel Air from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 14 to talk about schoolgirl samplers, decorative needlework created by young girls in Early America.

For more than 120 years in Maryland, from the mid-18th to the mid-19th centuries, needlework was considered an indispensable subject in a young girl's education. Girls as young as 6 labored over their samplers as a means of teaching them the rudiments of reading and writing. Their homes, families and pets were frequent subjects. Sometimes they stitched the whole alphabet, row after row. On display at Hays House Museum is an original sampler worked by Blanch Hall Lee in 1830 when she was 8 years old.

The historic Hays House was built in 1788 and is open for tours on the second and fourth Sundays from 1 to 4. It is operated by the Historical Society of Harford County, a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to collect, preserve, present, promote and interpret the rich and diverse history of the county. Please visit the society website, http://www.harfordhistory.org.

Hays House is at 324 Kenmore Ave., adjacent to Bel Air High School. Admission for this special event is $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens and free for children under 4 years of age. Parking is free.


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