Heritage Day was one of the biggest for ag museum

Published 11:54 am Wednesday, September 13, 2017

When officials of the Heritage Village/Agriculture and Forestry Museum advertised that the 24th Annual Heritage Day would have something for everyone, visitors obviously took heed.

The event drew nearly 1,300 paying visitors and with non-paying toddlers, vendors, volunteers and boy scouts who supervised parking, the attendance came close to 1,600, said member Anne Bryant.

“That’s about 200 more than each of the last two years,” she added, “but not our largest crowd, however. We have had as many as 2,000 a couple times.”

One of the newest attractions this year was Charles Hood’s beehive. The Boykins resident displayed a two-sided window showing the queen bee with hundreds of worker bees. He then explained how honey is made and in fact, had a few cases of honey for sale.

According to Director Bill Vick, the train display was one of the biggest attractions, with nearly 200 children taking turns running the trains.

“We gave each child a ticket that gave him permission to participate,” said Vick, with a grin. “The display was surrounded all day long.”

He said the museum is planning a special event for Christmas, including a Christmas tree, the Polar Express based on the nostalgic children’s movie and a visit from Santa.

To be held on Saturday, Dec. 2, “It’s going to be an old-fashioned Christmas,” Vick said. “The place will be highly decorated for the event, which will last from 6 to 8 p.m.”

He added that the museum is currently open each Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 til 4 p.m.

As promised, there were 34 booths, displaying every conceivable craft, from sewing to basket and chair seat weaving, and from hominy making to clothes scrubbed on a wash board, all done the way our ancestors would have done them.

A display of a “Hog Killing” with pictures was on the side with many of the antique buildings, like the corn crib, smokehouse and blacksmith shop, while at the other end of the lot, corn bread was being cooked from meal freshly ground on the grist mill.

Throughout the day, music from Shiloh Grass filled the air at one end of the grounds, but this was not the only music at the event — a visitor at the country church at the other end of the grounds decided to play the pump organ, a real treat for some old-timers.

An attraction that always draws a crowd, adults as well as children, is the petting zoo, manned by Lynda Updike. This year featuring sheep, a pot-bellied pig, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and newly

hatched chicks, Updike said, “We were busy all day.” 

“The kids seem to like the baby chicks the most,” she added, “so I put eggs in the incubator timed to hatch Friday and Saturday.

“Well, by Saturday, 10 had hatched, leaving one egg and I thought that was the end. When I checked the chicks Sunday morning, though, there was another one — not to be left out, the last little fellow had pipped his way out of his shell. This had never happened before,” she laughed.