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Spring tea draws lovers of food, history, beauty

By 1:30 p.m. Saturday all was abuzz in the kitchen of the Lawrence County Museum.

The broccoli cheese soup was bubbling in the crock pots, the olive-cream cheese and pecan sandwiches were on silver trays and bowls were filled with chocolate dipped strawberries and homemade spring candies made by Fern Wagner.

The scene was under the watchful eyes of Pat Arrington, Nancy Livingstone, Peggy Karshner, Sue Jenkins and Alicia Fraley, as they were getting ready for the annual spring tea of the Lawrence County Historical Society.

The menu was posted on the refrigerator door. Besides the soup there would be apricot and cherry scones, Benedictines, ham and Swiss party roll and petit croissants.

Soon Arrington was placing her famous scones on serving platters as the first of the 46 guests started arriving.

In the foyer Kay Rader, dressed as Nannie Kelley Wright, greeted the guests as Symmes Valley student John Higgins made his debut as usher directing each one to her table.

“I think this is pretty fun,” Higgins said. “I like coming to the museum and helping people.”

In the back rooms servers, Bill Karshner, Herb Brown and Dylan Carpenter, were transferring the tea for the day from silver urns into china teapots.

This was the second time for Carpenter to volunteer at one of the two teas the museum volunteers put on each year.

“I think this is a great community event for people to participate in,” Carpenter, a senior at Dawson-Bryant High School, said. “There is so much history in this county and people don’t realize it until they come and see it at the museum.”

Upstairs the models were getting dressed in the vintage finery selected for the day’s fashion show including Shelby Dalton, whose mother Ginger Dalton modeled for one of the teas when she was a teenager.

As the servers started pouring the tea and bringing out the first course, the models descended the sweeping staircase of the Gray Mansion.

The party began.