A Visit to l’Hermione at Yorktown

Ladies visiting l'Hermione tall ship in Yorktown

The third day in Williamsburg we actually spent in Yorktown, on account of the tall ship l’Hermione having put in there the night before, and it being an event not to be missed.

I’m bad. I didn’t know what the Hermione was when Maggie and Sammy suggested we go see it. I had to look it up…and once I did, I got very VERY excited.

The Hermione is a reconstruction of the French frigate that delivered General Lafayette to the freshly penned United States in 1780. The original ship was wrecked in 1793, but the reconstruction began in 1997 and set sail this year from Rochefort, France, across the Atlantic to Yorktown, its first port of call. She continues up the East Coast through Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, to name just a few stops. You can read all about the project and journey here.

The Hermione tall ship in Yorktown

The ship was full of dashing French sailors.
Left to right – Maggie, Lauren M, Sammy, me, Angela, and Nicole
Boarding the ship was difficult to say the least, but not as terrifying as disembarking – steep, slipper steps!

So of course we went to see her. I’ve never seen a tall ship, so it was a real treat, and we even got a special behind-the-scenes tour from Adam, one of the only American sailors on the ship who also happened to do the entire journey in period clothing. Not even kidding.

The ladies turned out in force. In our cavalcade that afternoon was The Couture Courtesan, Diary of a Mantua Maker, The Lady of Portland House, Undressing the Historical Lady, Burnley & Trowbridge, and yours truly. We were primped and poofed and it was fabulous!

Maggie looking incredible in a chintz gown and black market hat
Sammy and Lauren M turned out in military-inspired dress, very appropriate
Shoe circle!
Nicole and Maggie looked splendid

I wore The Creature for the first time and was very happy with how comfortable it was (yay, got the armscyes right!). I paired the gown with my tall 1770s wig and The Bonnet (yup, again!), and felt like a creampuff all day. I can’t wait to wear this gown again!

Besties at the boat! Maggie and I in matching black bonnets
I am so happy with this dress!
In wearing this type of gown I discovered that you really need a fluffer – as soon as you sit down you crush the puffy effect of the the skirts. Ladies must have been fluffing themselves all day long in the 1770s!

Needless to say, it was a fabulous, very special day. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Lauren Stowell

      June 19, 2015 at 8:39 PM

      We got lucky. The pier was on "lock down" so you couldn't really get close to the ship unless you had a ticket or a visitors pass. Our costumes got us through the gate and armed guards!

  • Poppy

    June 18, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Wonderful ! I saw it twice in Rochefort, once almost 10 years ago during the construction and another two years ago (just before we leave for the US) for the first time in water ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so happy they made it !

    • Lauren Stowell

      June 19, 2015 at 8:41 PM

      Sammy's riding habit is EPIC. It was patterned by the master tailor at Williamsburg, and fits her utterly perfectly.

  • Esther

    June 18, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    Ahhhh!! This looks like SO much fun I can't stand it! You all looked absolutely amazing and perfect. So jealous.
    Aren't tall ships the best?!! We got to sail in one (Pride of Baltimore), although it wasn't nearly this big.
    Your creature gown is absolutely exquisite! It looks perfect on you.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures from your fun trip!

  • Rowenna

    June 18, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    So jealous. The Husband and I honestly talked about ditching out and making a last-minute trip to Philadelphia for the Hermione's call there! The last time I was in Williamsburg it happened to coincide with a tallship gathering in Norfolk and AMAZING.

    And I floof myself in public all the time. Wait, what?

  • Crystal

    June 18, 2015 at 9:10 PM

    Oh, everyone just looks divine, and Creature especially is a delight to my eyes. So fluffy! So pink!

    I had the memorable experience of boarding a tall ship (Juan Sebastian de Elcano) about a million years ago (ok, 25) when I lived on the west coast, and I think I would give up a limb to be able to do it again. Hermione looks like a lovely lady, I'm glad you hand a chance to visit her ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Unknown

    June 20, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    Am so totally envious! Can you tell me about Nicole's shoes? Velvet? Wool? Who made them and how? (Having ultra wide feet has forced me to make my own shoes, and have been researching fabric shoes, as a result.)


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