Handwritten letters, the ones crafted with a pen and bottle of ink, may be a dying art. However, for those who appreciate history and a more personal way of communication, there is charm in a personal letter written on paper.
Michaela Brown, a historian and ranger at the Oakley House in St. Francisville, is leading the charge to preserve this dying art. She explains that letters from the past provide us with a unique glimpse at history. Brown says, “In the process of transcribing these old letters from the 1840s and 1850s from our archives, you truly feel you get to know that person”.
During Brown’s workshops, visitors get an introduction to pen and ink, practice writing cursive, and then take the time to craft a thoughtful letter. The experience is not only educational but also a lot of fun. Toni Nershi, one of Brown’s pupils, commented, “We had the most fun ever, and I wrote a letter to my daughter and some famous old sayings that I love.”
art of handwritten letters featured on tv
wax seal a final step
The final step of creating a handwritten letter is sealing it with hot wax. Brown demonstrates the proper way to fold the paper, making it possible to mail without an envelope. Whoever receives a handwritten letter is sure to be touched by the time and thought that went into crafting it. As Brown suggests, “It’s a fun way to rekindle a little interest in what may become the lost art of handwriting a letter.”
Audubon history at oakley house
The Oakley House, part of Louisiana’s Audubon State Historic Site, is located in the heavily wooded rolling hills near St. Francisville. Naturalist and artist John James Audubon lived at Oakely for a few months in 1821 while tutoring the owners’ daughter. Audubon painted 32 of his remarkable drawings of the Birds of America while at Oakley House.
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