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On Monday, Aug. 16, theMuseum of the Cape Fear givesyou the chance for a lunch datewith history in the fourthinstallment of their monthlyseries, Munch on History:A Lunchtime Lecture at theMuseum of the Cape Fear.

Heidi Bleazey, 1897 PoeHouse education coordinator,will present on Victorianetiquette and 1897 Poe Househistory. The lecture is in thefirst-floor conference room andstarts promptly at 12:15 p.m.

The 1897 Poe House,home of E. A. and JosephinePoe, is on Arsenal Avenue inthe Museum of the Cape FearHistorical Complex. E. A.Poe, not to be confused with the Edgar Allan Poe of The Raven fame, was aFayetteville brickyard owner and politician at the turn of the 20th century.

The house is a glimpse of the Poes’ life as an upper-middle-class family inVictorian times. E. A. and Josephine raised eight children in the home, gavedinner parties in the large dining room and welcomed society ladies bearingcalling cards. The 1897 Poe House is unique in that the exhibits are not tiedoff from the public. Visitors may step up and examine artifacts while keeping arespectful distance by not touching. Though not specifically part of the lectureseries, guided tours are available during the afternoons on weekdays and allday on Saturday. 

The Poes, like other society families of the time, were expected to follow astrict set of social rules.While some etiquette, likethe curtsey, is currentlyout of favor, other rulesof Victorian etiquetteare still relevant today.Lessons from your motherlike sit up straight inyour chair, don’t put yourelbows on the table anddon’t reach across the table for a serving dish were standards inthe early 1900s. The difference in execution is that today you mayget a disapproving glare from your mother. In the Victorian era,you would have been socially banished from polite society.

The Munch on History series is designed as a short,entertaining lunch break to connect museum visitors withFayetteville’s past. The purpose, says Leisa Greathouse, Curatorof Education, is “to raise awareness about Fayetteville’s place inAmerican history.” Greathouse explains that the series is notintended to make lecture goers experts on a topic, but “to provokethought and examine how history relates to present day.” Past topics includedthe history of the flag in honor of Flag Day and five Fayetteville eventstied to U.S. history.

Located at 801 Arsenal Ave., near downtown Fayetteville, the Museum ofthe Cape Fear is approximately 15 minutes from any destination in the city.According to Greathouse, “You can leave work at noon, arrive by 12:15 p.m.,eat your lunch during the 20 minute lecture and still be back at work by theend of your lunch hour.” Bring a brown baglunch. Beverages are provided by the museum.Just don’t put your elbows on the table.

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