Living across the street from Valley Forge Park in the first grade (during the Bicentennial year, no less) had a lasting impression on Sandy Spector, where her father brought her to see her first Revolutionary War reenactment. Sandy caught the history bug, and has been a Revolutionary War reenactor since 1999.
Beginning as a camp follower with the Tenth Massachusetts Regiment, soon expanding her interpretation to portray a woman in labor, Tipsy Ne’erdowell who always found herself in predicaments (which helps the public understand the customs and laws of the time), Sandy has now found herself in her favorite role, Martha Washington, the wife of our country’s first president.
Sandy now spends most of her time interpreting Mrs. Washington. She has been portraying Martha - with George (John Koopman, III) - in multiple states and venues for the past 6 years, including the National Park Service’s Washington’s Headquarters in Cambridge, MA, Clermont House in Germantown, NY each 4th of July, and Washington’s Birthday weekend at Washington’s Headquarters, in Newburgh, NY each February. As well, Sandy has worked with classrooms virtually throughout the United States, and delivered in person talks and performances throughout Massachusetts and New York.
Wanting to bring the past to life for visitors has led her to be active in The Ladies of Refined Taste, a first person living history education group, and the Hive, which provided invaluable workshops and lectures that presented ongoing research. Because the quest to know as much as possible is never ending, Sandy’s research is always ongoing in relation to the Washingtons via attending multiple symposiums, continuous reading, experimenting with material culture, and utilizing the depth of the many resources available online. Please visit the References Section of the website for a list of books and websites. In addition, Sandy is an active member of Solo Together, a group of solo performers from New England who join together to share ideas, network, and learn from one another.
Mirroring Martha’s daily activities in managing Mount Vernon and Martha’s care for the health and wellness of others, when not in the 18th century, Sandy is a nonprofit administrator, and a resource for health and safety in people’s personal care products. She lives south of Boston with her husband and three children.
In the Upper Garden at Mount Vernon, 2007.