Fayette County

Lexington revelers party like it's 1790

Tom Merritt as James Madison, left, Rob Walker as Charles Pinckney and Steve Sigg as Andrew Jackson gathered on Friday for a Mount Vernon-style celebration of the New Year.
Tom Merritt as James Madison, left, Rob Walker as Charles Pinckney and Steve Sigg as Andrew Jackson gathered on Friday for a Mount Vernon-style celebration of the New Year. Lexington Herald-Leader

There were gatherings all over Lexington to welcome the New Year, but at a particular house in the Chevy Chase neighborhood, they were partying like it was 1790.

George Washington, also known as Dr. Lisle Dalton; and his wife Martha Washington, or Kathy Dalton, invited a few friends over Friday for an evening patterned after one that the father of our country might have had at his Mount Vernon home in Virginia.

No one was wearing Washington's famous false teeth, but their wigs, capes and other period accessories helped set the scene. Guests included Andrew and Rachel Jackson (Steve and Paula Sigg), James and Dolly Madison (Tom and Sarah Merritt), Charles and Sarah Pinckney (Robert and Vicky Walker) and the widowed Mary Todd Lincoln (Patty Ramsey, taking a little liberty with history).

"It started because a group of girls went to Washington a few months ago and we fell in love with Mount Vernon," Kathy Dalton said. "We were talking about 'Don't you think we ought to have a Washington party?'"

There was food from the time: a standing rib roast, hominy, Yorkshire pudding, and peanut soup. There were small touches, such as bowls at the table for rinsing glasses between types of wine.

A rule against smoking inside the house was lifted so that, after dinner, the men could go into the living room for brandy and cigars.

By candlelight.

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