Recapping the Year of 2014

Before the year is up, I would like to recap and highlight some memorable times.

Once again I have learned so much about myself and what I want for the future. I have been able to teach others and grow at the same time.  Folks have enjoyed my Victorian interpretation and have respected my style of life.
 I sent much happy and rewarding hours in research to find other amazing people with the same passion for the restoration of the historic lifestyle, as myself.
 I have meet so many new friends that have been very inspirational to my growth..

 I had a very wonderful year inspiring young girls to embrace the social graces that life has to offer. . Teaching them good manners, to be graceful and to respect their appearance is something that will be useful throughout their lives. It has been very rewarding to me as well as my family. This young lady is my new adopted grand daughter who has embrace history and it's lifestyle.

I would like to sent Christmas greeting to my faithful readers and  assure you more adventurous stories to tell you in 2015.

RE-CAPPING "What's Happening with Lady Estelle Tea corner....good bye to 2014

 These lovely photos are taken at the Downton Abbey Tea, hosted at the Historic Hearthside House in Lincoln, Rhode Island. ...I was Mrs P,

 These photos were at a young girls birthday party. It was on a very warm July afternoon in her back yard, I brought my tea sets, pots and everything needed to enjoy a summer's tea.

It was a great Year.

Victorian Christmas at Hearthside!


The warmth and charm of the traditions of an old-fashioned Christmas come to life at Hearthside during the holiday season. During the month of December, the house is transformed into a genuine old-fashioned Christmas card, with its elaborately decorated rooms, dressed up to recall the traditions of Christmas at the turn of the century, along with the volunteers dressed in their Victorian finery, creating a cozy nostalgic scene.

Festive holiday music, caroling, twinkling trees, flickering candlelight, a cozy fire, hot cider and yuletide treats help to evoke memories from Christmas' past. Santa Claus, also in Victorian finery, awaits visits from young and old, and he'll be there for all the events prior to Christmas! And our Gift Shop is stocked with gift ideas for that special someone.
Come see why Hearthside has been featured in local, regional and national publications for its stunning decorations and Christmas tours! There are several opportunities for a visit to Hearthside during December, each one offering something special.

Saturday, Dec. 6th 2-6 p.m.
Hearthside opens its doors to the holiday season between 2 - 6 p.m. by inviting guests to stroll through each room and enjoy the dazzling beauty of the home in a self-guided tour. Welcome the season with the beautiful sounds of the harp performed by Liz Ammerman from 3-5 p.m. Bring the family to capture a memorable photo by one of the trees in every room of the house, and get your wish list in early with Santa Claus. Admission $8/adults; $6/seniors; $4 ages 10-17; under 10 and members free.

Sunday, Dec. 7th 12:30 & 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 13th 4-7 p.m.
The treasured elegance of Christmas is truly appreciated by the amber glow of candlelight and the twinkling lights of the ornate trees, adding even greater warmth to this beautiful home. Enjoy the sounds of the season with traditional caroling by singers from Second Stage Studio of Cumberland led by founder Joanne Vecchio. Snap a picture with the Victorian Santa. Take a leisurely self-guided tour through the house between 4 - 7 p.m. to enjoy the decorations at night time. Admission $10/adults; $8/seniors; $5 ages 10-17; under 10 and members free.

Sunday, Dec. 14th 2-6 p.m.
Stop by Hearthside for a very special afternoon. A selection of seasonal sounds will be featured with a performance on Hearthside's antique piano, which is only played at Christmastime. Boston's renowned forte pianist Sylvia Berry, along with her husband Dale Munschy, who is also a professional musician and a builder and restorer of historical keyboard instruments, will perform both solo and duet throughout the afternoon. Guests are invited to enjoy the music and stroll through the house in a self-guided tour to discover the dazzling beauty that each room holds. Santa will also be ready to hear those last minute gift wishes. Admission $8/adults; $6/seniors; $4 ages 10-17; under 10 and members free.

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 27th & 28th 4-7 pm (last tour at 6 p.m.)
* By Reservation
Before the end of the season and once the holiday rush is over, there is still time to visit Hearthside to enjoy the decorations. These candlelight tours will be the only time during the month that a fully-guided tour by the costumed interpreters about the history of the house will be given. It's a chance for an evening out with family, house guests, or an opportunity to see the decorations if you didn't get a chance earlier in the season. Advance reservations are required since space is limited for each tour. Tours are given every half hour starting at 4:00 p.m. with the last one at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $10/adult; $8/seniors and $5 members and ages 10-17; under 10 free. To reserve tickets, call 401-726-0597 or email

My New Website!

It has been a long time since I tried my hand at creating a website. After logging into several free sites, I closed down my first real website to save the money. I always missed having that chance to be creative in my thoughts and photo display. There is just so much you can do with the free bloggers and site.
Well, I am very proud of my new creation. I hope you will stop by and let me know what you think. "Leave you calling card", as a true Victorian woman would say

Lady Estelle    The Victorian Lady of Providence

Victorian Mourning Customs 2014

 This past October, Hearthside was set up to re-create the Victorian mourning customs and practices during the time when Simon Thornton passed away.

Hearthside was all draped in black, giving all who pass by the message that this is a house in mourning. 
We mourned the passing of  Simon E. Thornton, former owner of Hearthside,  who died on May 2, 1873.  
It was told to us that his body was prepared at the house by the undertaker, who would come with his equipment and a portable embalming table to do his service.
The coffin was in the Drawing Room where visitors would come and pay their respects.
 Each room in the house had displays of mourning clothing, jewelry, artwork, stationery displays, post mortem photography, and other funerary exhibits.
 Docent Estelle Barada waits for the next group of visitors to come into the dining room.  Photo by Susan Gonsalves
 When a home goes into mourning, all the servants went into mourning also. 
I portrayed the cook mourning the lost of my dear master.
 I handed out Funeral Biscuits to all who came to pay their respects to the family.
According to Victorian customs, following the ceremony, the coffin would be carried out of the house, feet first, and into a waiting hearse to bring it to the grave site for burial.

Sissieretta Jones' concert gown being displayed.

I had the privileged to see RI Opera Diva Sissieretta Jones' concert gown being displayed, this Wednesday, October 8th at the Redwood Library, in, Newport.
 A wine and cheese reception at 5:30 pm was followed by a talk by Ray Rickman at 6:00 pm.
Sissieretta Jones became the first African-American opera star to achieve global fame a century ago. Her silk champagne colored concert gown, fragile with age and beautifully restored by Deidre Windsor of Windsor Conservation, was on display for the first time this century and then goes into storage.

The champagne colored gown, beautifully restored by Deidre Windsor, who restored Jackie Kennedy's Newport wedding dress and much of her wardrobe housed at the Kennedy Library, was laid out in a private viewing room.

Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Sissieretta Jones April 28th

Sissieretta Jones being entered into RI Hall of Fame.
 April 28th 

Lady Estelle host Black Heritage Society Girl's Tea

The Providence Journal did a wonderful coverage on our 2nd Annual Girl's Tea,
On May 17th, 2014, at the Governor Henry Lippitt House in Providence, I hosted a lovely young girl's tea to introduce them to CHRISTIANA BANNISTER, an abolitionist and businesswoman of the late 1800's.
As Christiana, I was able to introduce them to tea etiquette and proper manners to be used at the tea table. .
We also got a chance to talk to them about proper ways to introduce yourself when in public
It is very important that these lessons be taught to them while they are young. It will help them in years to come.
I am sure I have made an impression on them and they would want to take this knowledge with them throughout their lives.

A Tea Party for Girls

Rhode Island Black Heritage Society Hosts Annual Tea Party at Governor Lippitt House in Providence
 The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society will host its second annual Tea Party for Girls at the Governor Lippitt House in Providence, at 2:00 p.m. This event invites girls 6 to 12 years old to learn the basics of social etiquette to build the skill-set needed for advancement in our changing society.
Today's young girls enjoy more opportunities than their mothers and grandmothers could ever imagine. But in order for them to advance further into leadership positions, it is crucial for them understand the many aspects of social etiquette. In hosting this unique event, the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society mixes the tradition of an afternoon tea party with the subtle lessons on the importance of making an admirable impression while making friends.
 This year's Tea Party for Girls will feature an appearance by reenactor Lady Estelle, who will join the tea party in the role of Mrs. Christiana Carteaux Bannister, a 19th century New England businesswoman and abolitionist. Lady Estelle will share inspiring stories of historical African American women in Rhode Island while teaching the etiquette of taking tea.

 The girls participating in this event will receive a free "Because I'm a Girl" bracelet from sponsor Alex and Ani as a gift. Laurie Onanian of Alex and Ani states "This bangle carries with it an empowering message for young women. 'Because I am a girl, I am born to achieve. I am capable. I am brave. I am born to inspire others and I am a blessing to the world.' This bangle is part of our Charity By Design program whereby 20% of all sales support Plan International USA's Because I am a Girl initiative, a movement to lift four million girls in the developing world out of poverty."
 This year's tea party is also being sponsored by Preserve Rhode Island, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the goal of protecting Rhode Island's historic structures and unique places for present and future generations. Refreshments will be served during the party.

 The Tea Party for Girls will take place at the Governor Lippitt House, 199 Hope Street in Providence. The event is free to participants. A girl can be sponsored for a $15 donation. For information, call (401) 421-0606 or email To donate, send a check to 123 North Main Street, Providence, 02903. Donations can also be given online at (keyword search: RIBHS).

Steampunk Tea

 Last month, I was invited to my first Steampunk Tea. It was just one of the events that was part of an out-of this-world Convention and Exhibit.

 I had the opportunity to meet some inspirational Time Travelers.

 A Lady must always be prepared to defend herself on such an adventure.

 The entertainment was out of this world.
 And such wonderful delights with interesting guests.

 It was truly a memorable event.

portrayal of 19th century entrepreneur Christiana Carteaux Bannister

Christiana Carteaux Bannister: 19th Century Rhode Island Entrepreneur Join Mrs. Estelle Tucker Barada and the Warwick Historical Society fo...