Hayner’s Birthday Tea takes reservations


TROY — The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is taking registrations for this year’s Mrs. Hayner’s Birthday Tea. There are two dates for the Tea: Thursday, April 20 and Sunday, April 23. Tea begins promptly at 2 p.m. on both days. Each year they acknowledge Mrs. Hayner for the gift of her home to the community with a tea during her birthday month. The Hayner Center is located at 301 West Main St., Troy.

This year’s Tea features Millie Henley of Historical Connections who will tell about Martha Washington’s life of love and support when she portrays Martha Washington, Indispensable Woman for the Indispensable Man. Everyone has seen pictures of Martha Washington. She’s the little white-haired lady in a mobcap. But Martha was much more than that. Her unfailing support of her husband throughout eight long years of the Revolutionary War and through eight incredibly difficult and contentious years of the first presidency made all the difference in George Washington’s ability to perform what he was called upon to do for the nation.

Henley said that when she was studying George Washington’s life, she could see how Martha was his bulwark and source of unconditional love. George’s childhood was difficult. His mother was a critical and stern woman. His father died when he was only 11 years old. “When cheerful and supportive Martha came into his life it must have felt like a warming ray of sunshine to him,” Henley said.

“They each did better than they knew when they married. Her wealth raised him to the pinnacle of the Virginia hierarchy and her love gave him a sense of security. He loved her children from her first marriage and he managed her holdings with skill and integrity. Neither of them could see the hardships and trials that would come when duty required him to step into public life, but their reliance on each other was what pulled them through.”

“Only a few of their letters survive, but what letters! Tall, reserved Washington sounded to me like Mr. Darcy when he wrote to Martha as he was about to take command of the Continental Army. It is a wonderful love story,” Henley said.

Henley has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree from Kent State University. She worked as a professional librarian for 25 years and is an avid lifelong student of history, spending months researching each project. She travels to historic reenactments of the 18th and 19th centuries and delights in historic dancing. Through her enterprise Historical Connections, she shares her passion for history with audiences who may not have known how intriguing it is. She presents the talks in period style clothing to match each subject.

Starry Dreams Catering is providing the refreshments for this year’s tea. Blackberry sage tea from the Republic of Tea will also be served. Reservations are required and can be made in person at the Hayner Center or online at www.troyhayner.org. The cost for the event is $20.00 per person.

The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is proudly supported by the citizens of the Troy City School District through a local tax levy and generous gifts to the Friends of Hayner.

For more information, visit www.troyhayner.org or call (937) 339-0457.

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