Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Building the lighthouse
With the sky and water stitched, I started in on the Point Lookout lighthouse itself. I worked the tower in DMC floss #666 in a combination of tent and satin stitches, and the front porch in white DMC floss in tent, Scotch variation and gobelin stitches over two threads.
Stitching small architectural elements isn't always easy: you want to give a hint of how the different areas are constructed, but the size of the areas limits you to the types of decorative stitches that might be suitable. For the roof of the house itself, I used DMC floss #815 in a cashmere stitch to mimic overlapping shingles. The corrugated roof of the porch was constructed of DMC floss #355 in alternating vertical rows of tent and gobelin stitches over three threads.
The house itself is constructed of brick that has been painted a tan color, but the areas to be stitched were too small to use a decorative stitch that might suggest brick. Here I used basketweave in DMC floss #842, which keeps the overall look in scale and further accentuates the decorative stitches I did use on the roof sections.
Ann Davis, the keeper of the lighthouse from 1830 to 1847 whom I mentioned in my previous post, was not the only female keeper. Pamela Edwards, the keeper during the Civil War, must have been one tough cookie! In addition to maintaining her rigorous duties at the lighthouse, she was surrounded by doctors and patients at the Union Army hospital as well as a burgeoning population of Confederate prisoners-of-war. No wonder the laughing, female voice, cussing a blue streak, that paranormal investigators recorded has been attributed to her!
It is believed that at some point, Pamela Edwards was forced to house within the lighthouse itself several female prisoners who had been accused of spying or being Confederate sympathizers. The last employee of the State of Maryland, who lived with her husband in the lighthouse until 1981, complained of an unexplained smell of death and decomposition emanating from one of the upstairs bedrooms. She made numerous attempts to scrub the room, but each night the smell reappeared.
Paranormal psychologists brought in to investigate this phenomenon detected "vibes" of pain and suffering coming from the room. They finally decided the location must have been where the female prisoners had been detained, and once their report was made public, the smell suddenly disappeared. Did the ghosts of these prisoners feel vindicated and leave the lighthouse once their previous existence had been confirmed by experts?
I need to finish "landscaping" the lighthouse, and have a few more ghostly stories up my sleeve, before we slide into Halloween!