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Camden County Historical Society Peter Mott House Black Communities

An 18th-Century Interlude at a
Camden County Historic Mansion

Photography by Hoag Levins

CAMDEN, N.J. (Oct. 17, 2002) -- Although a nor'easter blew chilly sheets of rain outside, Pomona Hall offered an island of warmth and tranquility for the Camden County Historical Society's sold-out Tea & Tour yesterday. The event was a modern-day interpretation of an 18th-century tea ceremony as it might have been conducted in the period just after the American Revolution. Hear Historical Society executive director John Seitter explain the historic significance (RealPlayer) of the event.

Members of the Historical Society's Mary Cooper Gardeners prepared a variety of tea sandwiches, pastries and desserts that included chocolate caramel brownies and wild blueberry gingerbread. The final spread had the authentic "groaning board" look 18th-century hosts tried to convey as a mark of hospitality and status. Click to see the Tea & Tour Menu.

In the mansion's large kitchen with its walk-in size hearth, docents working as 18th-century servants would have -- heating the water in kettles set on hot coals and then transferring the boiling water into the silver tea pots in the main dining room.

Designed as a smorgasbord of tempting finger foods, the selection brought guests back for seconds and thirds. Following tea, they were taken on a tour of the restored mansion which was, just before 1800, one of the area's most opulent homes.

Guests were seated in the unusually wide central hallway of Pomona Hall, an area that was used for the same purpose after the mansion was completed in 1788. The Mary Cooper Gardeners on hand for the day were (left to right) Sandra Forney, Sandy Levins, Hazel Werner, Cheryl McClain, Janet Ganther and Ellen Weymer-Carter (seated).

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> More Information on Historic Pomona Hall
> Annual Tea at Pennsauken's Griffith Morgan House
> Haddonfield's Doll Day Tea Party
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Contemplating 250 Years of Plant Life at an 18th-Century Mansion