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The Preston family included twelve children, five of whom were born at Smithfield. Eleven of the children grew up, married and brought their own children to Smithfield.
Although there were laborers also living at Smithfield, the children were instrumental in making Smithfield productive and profitable. Needless to say, life as a child on the frontier of a new country was not always carefree or easy. The Preston children, their cousins, and the children of the plantation laborers learned at an early age to help with household chores.
In addition to daily work, however, the Preston family entertained guests and valued visits from distant family members. Music and games provided a welcome diversion from chores. Children played active games such as hoop and stick and tag when the weather was nice. Indoor games such as cards, ball and pins, and whirligig helped to pass cold and wet winter days.
Smithfield retains the children’s living quarters, games, and toys. These assets make tours of the historic home enjoyable to younger people. School and camp group tours are welcomed! Please call Smithfield in advance to arrange for a group tour and commemorative take-away available for purchase through the Museum Store.
The Junior Guild program and internship opportunities allow for young people to remain involved today.