Joanna Furnace to host annual Victorian Tea on Saturday May 12th

/ / News

Joanna Furnace Victorian Tea to celebrate the Ironmaster’s Engagement

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association announces the open invitation to annual Victorian Tea to be held at Joanna Furnace Iron Works on Saturday, May 12. Registers are now being accepted for this extraordinary event. There will be two seating’s, 11:00 am and 2:30 pm.

This year, guests will learn about the recent engagement and upcoming Wedding of Iron Master L. Heber Smith and Miss Jennie Grube. The tea focuses on the roles women of the business class played in the years following the Civil War. Attendees will enjoy a history program titled “Preparing for the Ironmaster’s Wedding”.

The Joanna furnace Victorian Tea is a formal event. It includes light fare and tea served on tables covered with our most elegant pressed linens and finest formal china. Servers will be dressed in period garb to meet this year’s 1868 period. “We like to give the public a glimpse into the life of women who would have been close to the ironmaster’s wife during the Victorian Age,” said Caroline Lee HCVHA Food Service Director.

To follow the Ironmaster’s family traditions, this event is a ‘low tea’ service. That means the tea service will include the same light fare the ironmaster’s wife would have served to her most important guests. The term ‘low tea’ means guests were seated at a low table, typically in the drawing room or sitting room of an estate.

HCVHA interpreters will use traditional recipes to make the light fare which they will serve to guests. “The food is all handmade from scratch so that we will be busy bees the day before the tea service,” said Lee. Some of the fanciful foods they will serve include scones, biscuits, cakes, breads, fresh fruit, finger sandwiches, teas and punch.

Volunteers will also teach guests about proper tea etiquette that was expected during low tea. “It’s a great way to teach little ones about table manners, and hopefully our younger guests will use the lessons they learn here at home and when they go out to eat,” said Lee.

Guests are encouraged to wear their Sunday best; Victorian dress, gloves, and hats are optional. Admission for the Victorian Tea is $22, and registrations must be made in advance to attend the event. The deadline to register is April 23. Space is limited, so register early to reserve your place.

Registration forms are available at You can also call Caroline Lee at 610-670-0098 or e-mail for more information or to request a registration form.

Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works is located just off Route 10, three miles north of Morgantown. Turn on Furnace Road.