Gabriel and Sarah Chrisman are a married couple who specialize in late 19th-century history and culture; we bring back as many elements of 19th-century culture and technology as humanly possible in our everyday lives. Gabriel is a trained archivist and librarian, who also crafts hand-built bicycles. Sarah writes books about the Victorian era which incorporate the details we learn by living as we choose. A typical day
Our home was built in 1888/89. We wear Victorian-style clothes every day, use a wood-burning stove and an antique ice box, and incorporate countless other details of everyday Victorian life into our own daily lives. The way we choose to live provides us a depth of insight which gives an exceptional vibrancy and realism to Sarah's historical fiction. Be sure to check out her internationally acclaimed Tales of Chetzemoka series! The Edinburgh Book Review says these books bring history to life "by imbuing each character and their backdrop with all the small details that make up everyday life; shedding light on the sort of things others would perhaps take for granted." You can explore some of the "stories behind the stories" and get a small glimpse into the extensive research that goes into each book by visiting the Tales of Chetzemoka backstory pages: First Wheel in Town Love Will Find A Wheel
We are NOT actors playing dress-up to portray "great men/women", but just ordinary people choosing to insert as much of history into our present as we can, and using our experiences to teach others. Sarah wears a corset 24/7, 365 days a year. All of Gabriel's current glasses date from the nineteenth century, from his 1850's green sunglasses, to his everyday gold-rimmed spectacles, to his pince-nez for reading. We don't have cell phones, or watch television; Sarah doesn't even have a driver's license. This is who we are.
We help researchers in various genres with their projects. We've worked with novel writers, film producers (for documentaries as well as movies), and radio programs. For help with your project, please contact us through our Historical Consulting page.
We also make appearances at history-oriented events, as well as giving formal presentations and inspirational talks. If your organization is interested in having us present, by all means please contact us! A number of different options are available: Services We Offer.
We would be honored if you would put the titles of Sarah's books in the suggestion box of your local bookstore or library, and ask your friends to do the same! Please ask them to sponsor a presentation / signing, or to choose one of her books as a Community Reads project. Thank you for your support!
An interview about Sarah's books with the Edinburgh Book Review:
"From my earliest boyhood, ancient wearing apparel, old household and kitchen utensils, and antique furniture, have appealed to me with peculiar force, telling facts and relating incidents to me in such a plain, homely but graphic manner of the every-day life of our ancestors, that I look upon them more as text-books than as curiosities; for it is only by the light of truth reflected from these objects that we are enabled to. . . pierce the. . . fiction with which the perspective of years surrounds the commonest objects of those remote times."
—Beard, Dan C. "Six Feet of Romance." The Cosmopolitan. July, 1889. p. 226.
—Beard, Dan C. "Six Feet of Romance." The Cosmopolitan. July, 1889. p. 226.
Remember to check out Sarah's books —and tell your friends about them!
Buying these books is the best way to show your support for what we do and help us keep doing it!
Tales of Chetzemoka
In a seaport town in the late 19th-century Pacific Northwest, a group of friends find themselves drawn together —by chance, by love, and by the marvelous changes their world is undergoing. In the process, they learn that the family we choose can be just as important as the ones we're born into. Join their adventures in
First Wheel in Town:
When the delivery of a mysterious letter to Silas Hayes' mansion is followed by the arrival of a beautiful young woman who claims she can communicate with the dead, Nurse McCoy sniffs trouble in the wind. It's obvious to her that the newcomer is after Silas' fortune, but he is helplessly in awe of the medium's eerily intimate knowledge of his past and her seemingly supernatural abilities. Meanwhile, Kitty Brown's yearning to reach out to the departed spirit of her first love is making her push away her new husband, just when she needs him the most. The whole situation is a dreadful mess, and McCoy's got to straighten it all out before Silas' nephew and his bride come back from their honeymoon. Honestly, she doesn't know how any of the fools in this world would get along without her…
It's obvious to everyone in the Chetzemoka cycling club that Lizzie and Isaac could make each other very happy —but does anyone really listen to their friends about affairs of the heart? A prim schoolmarm and a stoic steamship captain are hardly the people to discuss their sentiments, especially with each other. The smallest challenges seem like huge obstacles, even with everyone else trying their best to bring them together. When progress finally seems possible, a well-intentioned little girl steps in with the kind of help they'd be better off without. Will the situation be resolved in time, or will Isaac ship out for good?
A Trip and a Tumble
Words For Parting
The Wheelman's Joy
Eloquent statements are like the seeds of beautiful flowers: in the fertile garden of the mind they grow and blossom into inspiration, reflection, and rewarding conversations. The Victorian era was a time when people expressed themselves skillfully and beautifully, and the writings of that age are a rich legacy from the past. This little volume is a collection of sentiments on an array of subjects, among them:
"What flower did she most resemble?… A rose! Certainly… strong, vigorous, self-asserting… yet shapely, perfect in outline and development, exquisite, enchanting in its never fully realized tints, yet compelling the admiration of every one, and recalling its admirers again and again by the unspoken appeal of its own perfection—its unvarying radiance." —John Habberton, 1876.
All hail the Queen of Flowers! In this collection of Victorian writings on roses, brief prose remarks, lovely poetry and engaging short stories are gathered together —all with nature's most perfect blossom as their central theme. From poetry on the fragrant beauty of roses, to tales ranging from a ghost story about roses as omens to a romance of love among the roses, this collection will delight anyone who dreams of being surrounded by roses. A perfect gift for weddings, birthdays… or your own sunny afternoon!
Compiled and edited by Sarah A. Chrisman, author of the Tales of Chetzemoka series and others.
Essays by Sarah about a few of our philosophies:
Costumes vs. Clothing: An excerpt from Victorian Secrets:
The Cyclical Nature of Time —or, What An Oak Tree Has In Common With Human History
The difference between digitization and preservation:
Everyday Life As A Learning Experience:
Getting Intimate With History:
What Millenial Women Can Learn From Victorian Ladies:
Index to this website:
Books we've written or otherwise been involved with. Thank you for looking!
Pictures and special inside details behind the internationally acclaimed Tales of Chetzemoka
First Wheel in Town backstories
Love Will Find A Wheel backstories
A Rapping At the Door backstories
Delivery Delayed backstories
A Trip and a Tumble backstories
Our educational presentations
Book a walking tour of historic Port Townsend with the author of the Tales of Chetzemoka
Our Victorian Home
Sarah's Writing Den
Home - our Victorian house and its rooms
-Kitchen / Dining room
Light and Heat
Cooking / Mealtimes
Sports & Leisure
Tips from a Victorian household
Selections from our antique clothing collection
Selections from our everyday clothes
A few words about Sarah
A few words about Gabriel
Articles about us and interviews on radio and television
A bit of cycling history—and pictures of us with our wheels!
Popular Victorian sports and leisure activities and pictures of our experiences with them
Fun with Fine Art
Paintings and photographs
Historical articles transcribed from materials in our collection, indexed by title and by subject
Historical images scanned from ephemera in our collection
Health and Beauty Products
Photo of children
Photos of couples and families
Photos of maids
Photos of nurses
Photos of various Victorian women
Hand-built 1890's-style bicycles
Interested in a real time machine? Commission one of our 1890s-style custom bicycles! Custom, hand-made steel frames with wooden fenders and chainguards, leather saddles and cork grips. Whether you are interested in a roadster or a racer, we can build you the period bicycle of your dreams.
For words of wit and advice sage,
I hope you'll like my author page!
History lessons, folks who dare,
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