Patricia and Sarah Mitchell:
Mother-Daughter Research/Writing Team

Sarah and Patricia Mitchell

Sarah and Patricia Mitchell.

Book Signing at Chatham Books
Saturday 10:30-12:30

Chatham residents Patricia and Sarah Mitchell will autograph books from 10:30 to 12:30 on Saturday, December 2, 2006, at Chatham Books, during the Christmas in Historic Chatham celebration.

The mother-and-daughter team exemplify two themes of this year's celebration: “Come Home to Chatham” and “History Comes Alive.” Both Patricia and Sarah are local natives, and their publications deal with history and are utilized by museums and historic sites nationwide.

Chatham Books will be featuring Patricia's latest titles, which include three on White House food and entertainment 1800-1950; and three on Southern history and traditions, Southern Hospitality and Delectable Dishes, Biscuits and Belles, and Mammy: the Hand that Rocked the South. Also available will be Patricia's four books on Christmas foods from the Colonial period to the present.

Sarah's two recent books will be featured: Southern Ladies' Civil War and Antebellum Fashions 1855-1865 and Ladies Clothing of the 1830's.

Patricia began her foodwriting in New Orleans during the 1970's for the Community Standard Magazine. Some of those earliest articles involving New Orleans restaurants can still be seen at website.

In 1986 she began her “Inkling Series” of food history publications, which are mainly sold at museums. Booklet-style softcovers, they provide documented and footnoted summaries of food and household traditions for specific historic periods and ethnic groups. They are used as interpretive material by museums' staffs, and are also sold in museum bookstores and gift shops. Patricia has published over 100 books in her “Inkling Series,” and approximately 60 are presently in print. Since 1986 she has sold around 700,000 copies. The Mitchells feature the books on their websites and

For well over a decade Patricia's daughter Sarah has assisted with research and editorial aspects of Patricia's books, and recently Sarah began her own parallel “Vintage Design Series” dealing with design history. Her first two books involve clothing, and she plans a number of others on topics of interior design and architecture. Sarah also is a professional researcher of genealogy, architecture, and other topics. She hosts the website, and is editor of the Pittsylvania Historical Society's quarterly journal, the Pittsylvania Packet.

Also assisting in the family's publishing efforts are Patricia's husband Henry and their sons David and Jonathan. For over twenty years the family operated the Sims-Mitchell House Bed and Breakfast in Chatham. Their websites include extensive local information at and, and average over 2,000 visitors per day.

This website is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.