Library

  • A Rare Kentucky Book: Kentucky; A Poem by Isaac W. Skinner

    By James D. Birchfield

    KY a poem pic 1

    On the shelves of the Brown family library at Liberty Hall there is a very rare Kentucky book – Kentucky; A Poem, by Isaac W. Skinner.[1]  It truly is a rare book, because there are only four known copies: the Liberty Hall copy, two copies in the Special Collections Research Center at the University of Kentucky, and a fourth copy owned by the Millbrook Public Library in Millbrook, Alabama.

  • Holiday History at Liberty Hall: Clues from the Library

    By Vicky Middleswarth, Educator

    Holiday plate optHand-painted plate, Haviland & Co. Limoges, porcelain, France, ca. 1880, Liberty Hall Historic Site Collections.

    “There never has been a more delightful Christmas” wrote Margaretta Brown to her son Orlando in 1828.  But what exactly did she mean?  She went on to describe warm weather that was expected to last until New Year’s day and she implored Orlando to “be born to the newness of life” through his faith.[i]  What she did notmention was how they celebrated December 25. 

    In fact there are few references to Christmas in Brown family letters we know of, even later in the nineteenth century. No one wrote about hanging a wreath, trimming a tree, or expecting a visit from Santa.  A plate decorated with a winter scene is one of our only artifacts with a holiday theme. The library at Liberty Hall probably holds the most clues to how the Browns may have observed the winter holidays.