Aunt Carrie’s Attic Sale is the Miller-Cory House Museum‘s annual yard sale. Shop for housewares, collectible, tools, linens, toys, books, and lots more. Aunt Carrie’s Attic Sale will be held on May 23, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., rain or shine, on the grounds of the museum. No early birds, please. All proceeds benefit the museum.
Built in 1740, the Miller-Cory House stands on the “road to the mountains” in the West Fields of Elizabeth. While the Millers and the Corys were rural farmers, they knew some degree of sophistication, for the West Fields were at the crossroads of colonial America on the Old York Road, the main road between New York from Philadelphia. Life was uniquely influenced then, even as it is today, by a location between the two major cities.
Today, the Miller Cory House is a nationally recognized “living museum.” On each open Sunday, visitors are introduced to an endless variety of colonial skills as trained artisans recreate the everyday life, the crafts, and the tasks of the 18th and early 19th Century farm Family. Famous for their appearance in Craig Claiborne’s column in the New York Times and in four nationally distributed magazines, the cooks at the Miller-Cory House demonstrate the exacting art of food preparation on the open hearth.
The Miller-Cory house offers a number of educational programs including a demonstration of Colonial crafts such as butter and cheese making, theorem (stenciling), pierced tin, quilling, rubbings, cornhusk craft, and silhouettes. In Colonial America, the hand skills practiced were often necessary for existence and also offered a means for creative expression. Educators bring to your school a sampling of these skills. The craftspeople, dressed in colonial attire, help the children to gain insight into the lives and labors of preceding generations with their demonstrations and accompanying talks. There is always time for questions.
Another program presents the earliest inhabitants of New Jersey – the Lenape Indians. Various aspects of everyday life, such as beliefs, families, home, food, clothing, medicine, and games will presented. Viewing-a vast array of artifacts, students will learn who these people were, what they believed, and how they lived in early New Jersey.
The Miller-Cory uses the bee as its symbol as an homage to the history of the house and surrounding area. The struggle for survival in the colonial period forged two characteristics basic to our American way of life, self-reliance and independence. People counted on one another for manpower when raising a barn, at threshing time, for butchering, or sawing wood. Without the help of neighbors, they could not survive in times of crisis… fighting flood or fire or getting a stricken neighbors crop in. And neighboring was socializing too. These times of work-sharing and frolicking in Colonial America were called a “bee.” A bee turned a difficult job into a time for fun and fellowship. Miller-Cory has chosen the symbol of the bee because it believes this spirit of cooperative effort is the essence of the museum’s uniqueness. This spirit is just as essential to the quality of life today as it was in the early years of our emerging nation.