Do you have a special interest in 18th century social and cultural life—a life epitomized by the historic William Paca House? If so, we invite you to join the William Paca Society, a group of Historic Annapolis members dedicated to helping the William Paca House and the story of those who lived there come alive to 21st century visitors.
Imagine the thrill of walking through the Paca House and seeing the difference your generosity has made!
Funds to support selected projects come from membership dues and an annual fund-raising event.
MembershipMembership in The William Paca Society is about making a difference. Each year, the Society selects a special project to be undertaken by the Curator with the express purpose of bringing history to life. The lives of William and Mary Paca can be illuminated through items as varied as the elegant brass clock jack turning a roast at the kitchen fireplace or the medicine chest in an upper bedroom. These items represent the details of daily living; together their threads weave the story of life in a colonial home of refinement, elegance and grace. Perhaps the Pacas have just stepped out for a walk in the garden--you just missed them--but join us for a moment as these objects tell their story....
Membership in The William Paca Society brings with it only benefits--there are no obligations. You may choose to vote to select the annual project and we hope you will join us for the annual Members Reception held on the Paca House Terrace each September. You may also take advantage of other events that are offered as Society exclusives, such as the formal "opening" of a completed project.
Join the William Paca Society at the $500 level and you will receive…
- Privilege of voting on the annual Paca House project
- Up to three informal curatorial object evaluations
- Letter announcing the annual Paca House project
- Two tickets for the annual members reception and project unveiling
- Recognition in HA's Annual Report
- Recognition on the HA's newsletter, the Journal
Join at the $250 level and you will receive …
The William Paca Society is an affiliate group of Historic Annapolis and contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
- Letter announcing the annual Paca House Project
- Recognition in the HA's Annual Report
Activities and Special ProjectsIn keeping with its mission to enhance interpretation of the Paca House, each year the members vote by ballot, choosing a project from the Curator’s suggestions. Two projects are described below.
2006 Project—The Paca House KitchenTo make the 18th-century cooking space come alive for 21st-century visitors, the Paca Society chose to fund new exhibits and an enlarged interpretation of the Paca House Kitchen as its inaugural project.
Following prototypes in the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg and an 18th-century house here in Annapolis, historically accurate shelving was specially designed for the Paca House Kitchen. The shelving has been hand-crafted and installed, thanks to NAME Woodworkers Guild and the generosity of the J.F. Johnson Lumber Company.
Visitors to the kitchen now see various cookware, purchased with project funds, in place on the shelves, out of the main cooking area when not in use. A table crafted to sit beneath the shelves displays food in preparation--pies and jellies for dessert, and freshly caught game. A reproduction Clock Jack now hangs above the fireplace. When wound, a pulley rotates its elegant brass gear wheels, turning the haunch of meat cooking at the hearth—a “modern” 18th-century labor-saving device that would have been welcomed by any cook of the day.
2007 Project—The Paca House Porch ChamberThe 2007 selection is the reinterpretation of the Porch Chamber, a charming upstairs space overlooking William Paca’s “pleasure garden.” The Porch Chamber will become the setting for an imagined gathering of William Paca and his family. The focus of the exhibit will be a gift for Paca’s son John Philomen--a Zograscope, precursor to later centuries Stereopticon and ViewMaster—as well as other children's toys for John and sewing materials for Mary. New floor and window treatments will complete the ensemble. To protect the installation, funds will also provide for all-important ultra violet protective film for the Porch Chamber windows.
To Join or Learn MoreHeather Ersts, Vice President for Collections and Interpretation for Historic Annapolis, would be delighted to discuss membership and answer any questions you may have about this exciting giving opportunity. She can be reached at 410-990-4704.
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