Entertainment, News

George Washington was born 286 years ago. The Marblehead Museum threw him a party.

Natalia Grishin plays with a whirligig toy she made during the Washington's birthday celebration held at the Marblehead Museum. (Owen O'Rourke)

MARBLEHEAD — On the 286th anniversary of George Washington’s birth, the Marblehead Museum had its first celebration in honor of the first U.S. President, opening its doors for some arts and crafts, colonial games, and cupcakes and refreshments.

As 2-year-old Fletcher Crandalo enjoyed a game of quoits — similar to horseshoes dating to colonial times where a ring made of string is tossed with the goal of hooking onto one of four pegs on the ground — his sister Cara, 5, munched on a chocolate cupcake.

“It’s so good,” she said after a few bites.

Cara enjoyed crafting her own whirligig, a spinning toy of string with paper circle in the middle that twists like a YoYo, and learning how to use the gadget.

These toys are similar to those seen during the George Washington’s life in colonial America according to the museums assistant director Cheri Grishin.

Marblehead has many ties to the Revolutionary War, including the Jeremiah Lee Mansion which was once visited by Washington and was the home of wealthy ship owner and merchant Jeremiah Lee. Lee was the Colonel of Marblehead’s town militia for 25 years.

The museum found this connection and the date of America’s first president a great day  to start a new event.

“This is our first year celebrating his birthday like this,” Grishin said. “We want to do more things for kids and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.”

Grishin’s daughter, Alisa, helps around at the museum and with tours of the Jeremiah Lee Mansion and assisted in creating whirligigs and paper hats that resembled colonial tricorn caps.

“I volunteer here a lot when I can,” Alisa said. “I always loved history and having a mom that works at a museum is pretty convenient.”

Sadly, Cara and Fletcher were the only kids to come by and enjoy the evening and soon had to head home.

However, before parting they were sure to sign the oversized George Washington birthday card that read on the inside “Happy Birthday George” in bright purple.

More Stories From Marblehead