Heritage Day will have something for everyone

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

by Lynda Updike

The 24th annual Heritage Day 2017 will be on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Heritage Village/Agriculture & Forestry Museum at 26315 Heritage Lane, Courtland.

This is sponsored by the Southampton County Historical Society and aforementioned village/museum.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for school age children. Preschoolers are admitted for free.

Museum equipment such as the saw mill, grist mill and printing presses will run intermittently during the day. Craftsmen from Virginia and North Carolina will demonstrate old crafts, with craft items for sale. Lunch will be for sale on the grounds: BBQ, Brunswick stew, hot dogs, snacks, apple and sweet potato jacks, water and soft drinks.

Charles Hood will bring his bees for viewing. He’ll also be selling honey.

The Museum of Southampton History, adjacent at 22541 Linden St., open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., will feature several special exhibits, including to-scale models of local homes and historic buildings built by E.B. Gayle and photographs of many more of our old homes.

A recently restored 1824-34 pistol, found by a diver at Monroe Bridge in the Nottoway River will be on exhibit for the first time.

The Prehistory Exhibit displays prehistoric shells, sharks’ teeth, and whale vertebrae from when Southampton County was part of the ocean floor.

The very popular Military Room highlights the service of our local soldiers in all wars through uniforms, photos, memorabilia, and weaponry. Entry here is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Three levels of trains will be running throughout the day inside the main building at the Ag Museum.  One train is a hands-on for youngsters to run themselves. See if you can count how many trains are running.

New for kids will be an updated scavenger hunt to find items throughout the museum complex. Kids completing the hunt get a free bag of popcorn .

Dr. Will Dunstan and Rick Francis will be at the Rebecca Vaughan House, on site, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to answer questions about Nat Turner and the 1831 Southampton Slave Insurrection.

Mahone’s Tavern on Main Street will be open also with many Confederate exhibits.

Always a popular attraction, the museum’s grist mill will be grinding fine cornmeal, which will be available for a donation. Samples of hot corn bread, made from that meal will be given away throughout the day.

Volunteers will demonstrate the old technique of type setting on the museum’s two old printing presses, an 1885 Chandler & Price and a Columbian No. 2, treadle operated, hand fed. Visitors can print a free bookmark bearing the museum’s logo.

Antique cars and tractors will be on display. Small gasoline engines will be “put-putting” throughout the day. In addition, the 1920’s ground sawmill, planer mill and factory whistle will be in operation several times during the day. The blacksmith shop too will be open, with blacksmiths at work.

Among the crafts being demonstrated and for sale visitors will find painted gourds, baskets, handmade jewelry , sewing, quilting, candles, floral arrangements, wreaths, paintings, yard art, signs from reclaimed wood, as well as various types of needlework and woodwork.

Artisans from the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia will blend contemporary and traditional art through beadwork, flute making, wood carving, quilting and pottery making. Other special demonstrations include wood carving, spinning, crocheting and knitting. Some of the old crafts to see are butter churning, washboard washing of clothes and hominy making,

A state-certified local trapper will demonstrate how to handle and tan fur. See a bee keeper with a live hive. Gourds, pumpkins, produce, pickles, jams, jellies and baked goods will be for sale.

“Shiloh Grass,” a local blue grass band and crowd favorite, will entertain during the day.

The little country church is always an attraction, and this year will feature old-fashioned hymn sings.

Come see special exhibits of old blacksmithing tools, an assortment of old washing machines, as well as corn-cob pipe making and story-telling in the one-room school.

Children of all ages will have a ball in a Petting Zoo featuring healthy, gentle pet farm animals. Have you ever seen baby chicks pip their way out of eggs? They will be hatching on Sept. 9!

Smokey the Bear will visit, and there will be hay rides, face painting, wheelbarrow rides and a hen house of chickens. Also, young folks can learn the art of milking a cow by practicing on “Mattie,” our replica “cow.”

In addition to all the special activities, visitors are welcome to tour the Agriculture & Forestry Museum and all of its outbuildings and Heritage Village, which includes a country store, one-room school, country dwelling, doctor’s office, smoke house, old post office, and two outhouses, among other buildings.   restored barber shop will be open with family members telling stories about its history.

This 24th Heritage Day event promises to provide a wholesome and fun outing for the whole family. Visitors will see how the older generations lived and how hard they worked to make a living. For the older generation, it’s a stroll down memory lane. Come and learn how they made the items in their homes and on the farm. Farming activities, by the way, included the whole family.

We offer something for all ages to enjoy.

For more information, feel free to contact me, Lynda Updike, at 654-6785 or at updikes@earthlink.net, or at 33335 Statesville Road, Newsoms, VA 23874.