NEW ALBANY – Next month the Union County Heritage Museum will host dozens of volunteers and hundreds of visitors to portray elements of work, worship, learning and play from settlement times through the Great Depression.
This year the event runs Sept. 15-17.
“An extra day has been added to give students more opportunities to learn and enjoy the many hands-on activities that will be available,” Museum Director Jill Smith said.
“This year more hands-on activities will be available thanks to the opportunity to work with Blue Mountain College history class,” she added.
Many Pioneer Days activities stretch all the way back to the days when what is now Union County was first being settled by whites and blacks – roots music, woodworking with hand tools, traveling merchants and making fire without matches, among many others. Others include old-timey toys and games, churning butter, gardening, herbal medicine, log cabin building and quilting.
Children will see how their great-great-great-grandparents learned to read and cipher in a one-room schoolhouse, and they’ll also hear in a genuine country doctor’s office how folks battled illness and injury before hospitals were readily available.
Some tasks illustrate advances that people still living can remember seeing come into being, such as mule-powered hay baling, hand-powered wringer washers and the earliest chain saws. Students will take a turn at shelling corn – a typical child’s job on early homesteads – to appreciate the labor-saving advantage even a simple hand-cranked corn sheller could mean to a farm family.
Thursday and Friday of Heritage Pioneer Days will be reserved for school groups, while the free event opens to the general public on Saturday.
“Classes are signing up now,” Smith said. “If your class would like to visit, call the museum at (662) 538-0014 and schedule a time for learning and fun.”
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal