Guest post by Katie Cook, WFU ’15 | @WakeReynolda
A mother’s love was the primary foundation for the Reynolds family’s estate, a place that has been considered a second home for generations of families in the Winston-Salem community. Katharine Reynolds played a visionary role in the building of her family’s country estate, and set the tone for Reynolda being a place of comfort and acceptance to all families. Over the years, many mothers with a similar touch have walked through our doors, ready to learn about Katharine’s legacy and also pass on memories of their time at Reynolda to the next generation.
In honor of Mother’s Day, Reynolda House would like to take this opportunity to thank a few of the mothers and their children who have become a part of the Reynolda story. I interviewed four mothers who have had the opportunity to share the Reynolda experience with their children. Do you have a Reynolda experience that spans more than one generation? Tell us about it in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth and Stuart Vaughn
Elizabeth Vaughn was born and raised here in Winston-Salem. After attending the Museum’s summer camps and spending many a Sunday feeding bread to the ducks on Lake Katharine throughout her childhood, Elizabeth has developed a strong relationship with Reynolda House. She hopes to share her memories of Reynolda and also make new ones with her son Stuart (7), who has attended Art Adventures at the Museum during the summer.
“My connection with this House just gets deeper and deeper as I get older… seeing (my son) enjoy his time here just makes it even more special.”
What is your relationship with Reynolda House?
Elizabeth: “I have been familiar with this house since I was teeny-tiny. If you blindfolded me and put me in front of Mr. Reynolds’s Office, I could literally walk through this house and tell you where I am (laughs). Back when I was in the Summer Enrichment Program at Reynolda, I remember we all got up early in the morning and were immediately immersed in the art. We’d separate for an activity, which included swimming in the pool… we even bowled in the bowling alley and had lunch in the soda shop downstairs! It was so much fun."
Stuart, what was your favorite part of Art Adventures camp?
Stuart: “My favorite part was when we got to… well the last day of the camp we had lots of fun and had an art show.”
KC: "So do you like Art?”
Stuart: “Yes ma’am! I even made a bat mobile out of cardboard that I can fit in. I like making stuff out of found objects… that’s what we did at camp too.”
KC: “Have you thought about being an artist when you grow up?”
Stuart: “Yeah I think I should (laughs).”
Elizabeth, what’s it like seeing Stuart enjoy the camp? Do you think it’s helped cultivate his interest in art?
Elizabeth: “Oh my goodness, yes. I look at some of the things that he creates and the thought behind what he creates and I can see artistic qualities within him… his drawings and paintings and just how he thinks through his art projects, I certainly think that he possesses the qualities.”
With all of these memories in mind, what does Reynolda House mean to you?
Elizabeth: “It’s symbolic of Winston Salem. It’s symbolic of my childhood… it represents the generations that came before us and what’s to come. It’s a huge part of (Stuart’s) future which is just really exciting.”
Meredith, Amelia, and Caroline Thomas
Meredith has many fond childhood memories of her time at Reynolda House, experiences that she now shares with her daughters Amelia (11) and Caroline (9). Both girls have developed their own special relationships with the Museum thanks to their summer camp experiences. From pretending to live in the house as child to watching her own children do the same, Meredith and her family have built a lasting and special bond with Reynolda House.
“Reynolda does a great job of making you feel like you are a part of its history... It’s just a gem that you want to pass on to your kids.”
Tell me a about your experiences at Reynolda House.
Meredith: “My cousin, sister, and I spent several summers at Reynolda House and we honestly felt like we were living there... we would sometimes pretend that we actually did live in the house. I remember we would look through all the clothes and I would pretend that (Katharine’s) wedding dress was mine (laughs). I always imagined what it would be like to live there."
What is your favorite part of Reynolda House?
Meredith: “The art that the house has is just amazing. The history of the Reynolds family and all the rich memories that still live here… it really feels like a home.”
How would you describe your daughter’s experiences at camp?
Meredith: “They had an amazing time. They absolutely loved learning about the art and especially swimming in the pool. Reynolda House does a great job of ensuring that the children are getting something lasting out of their experience at the camp. It’s really telling when people keep coming back (to the camps) each year. “
Beth and Davis Huff
The Huff family has been with Reynolda House for generations. Beth’s grandmother went to school on the property and both her brother and father attended Wake Forest University. Beth spent a lot of time in the historic district as well, exploring the grounds and spending hours admiring the art in the Museum. Her daughter Davis (14) had the opportunity to make her own memories of Reynolda House when she attended both Art Adventures and Writing Adventures, further strengthening the family’s connection to Reynolda House.
“My favorite memory of Reynolda is seeing it through (my daughter’s) eyes.”
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Reynolda House?
Beth: “The family. When I was in school, we would take field trips to the Museum and learn all about the Reynolds family… it was something that I could really relate to since my family has such a long history in Winston-Salem. The passion and the rich history of the family still has such an incredible influence in the community… It’s a wonderful place and you can’t help but feel a part of the legacy.”
Davis, what is one of your favorite memories of camp?
Davis: "At the summer camps, it’s when you’ve been around the whole week and then your parents come and you give them your own little tour… you remember all the stuff that you learned. You get to be the guide for your parents."
What is one of your favorite memories of Reynolda House?
Beth: “I would have to say going there with my daughter, especially when she was at camp. Just seeing her and how excited she was to experience all these amazing artists lending their talents to the camp… it was an absolute joy to witness. I’m so thankful that Reynolda House has done such a good job at being accessible and allowing the kids to experience its art and history in such a hands-on way.”
Courtney and Julianna Tucker
Courtney has enjoyed Reynolda House since she was a little girl. After spending many afternoons exploring the Museum, Courtney’s mother enrolled both her and her sister in summer camp. Courtney’s memories of camp at Reynolda were so wonderful that she encouraged her daughter Julianna to join in the fun at Summer Adventures. One of two recipients of the Reynolda Educator Scholarship, Julianna was given the opportunity to attend the camp for free.
“Watching (my daughter) give us her own little tour of the museum, holding her fingers up like an artist to frame the pictures… I could tell she really learned something at Reynolda.”
What are your fondest memories of Reynolda House?
Courtney: “I have a clear memory of being a child outside on the patio painting and doing art projects… activities that my daughter also got to do at camp. The best part about Summer Adventures was the last day of camp when the kids did the showcase for the parents. Watching Julianna give us her own little tour of the Museum, holding her fingers up like an artist to frame the pictures… telling us about the significance and everything about the paintings was amazing to watch.”
What’s it like watching Julianna attend camp as you did during your childhood?
Courtney: “As a parent, I’ve seen my daughter attend a number of different camps in the area, but her summer at Reynolda not only gave her great experiences, but also something physical to take away from the camp… I framed the artwork she did in her room, something that my mother also did for one of my pieces when I was a child. It’s just a way for both of us to remember our special time at Reynolda.”
Cook is an intern in the Museum’s Marketing & Communications Department who loves all things Reynolda. She interviewed the mothers in person and by phone for this blog post.