Come ‘down home’ for a day of family fun

Published 10:28 am Friday, April 13, 2018

by Lynda Updike

The Southampton Heritage Village and Agriculture & Forestry Museum is featuring its 14th annual family-oriented “Down Home Day — Ya’ll Come!” on Saturday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is at 26135 Heritage Lane in Courtland. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for school age children. Pre-schoolers are admitted free.    

Travis Covington, blacksmith and broom maker, will among the artisans demonstrating their artistic and crafty skills. — Submitted | Anne W. Bryant

Just like the good ole days “down home,” the fun activities planned for the day include something for all members of the family, offering a chance to enjoy life at a slower pace. 

Special exhibits include a collection of old corn shellers as well as old hand tools. At least 15 trains will be running, and someone will be blowing glass.

Music will be performed by well-known local musicians Jimmy Ricks and his “Shiloh Grass”  band.  Kids are free to milk Mattie the plastic cow.

Again this year we will have a mule handling demonstration, always a crowd pleaser. Another feature is an old hog killing scene, photos only.

The 1920’s sawmill will be sawing pine logs. While the restored grist mill is grinding meal throughout the day, several ladies will be frying cornbread, made with some of the freshly ground meal, for visitors to sample. Corn bread used to be an everyday staple. Now visitors can see how meal is made from corn.

The steam engine will run periodically and blow smoke rings.

Two very old restored printing presses will be working as well. Young visitors can make a “hands on” bookmark bearing the museum’s logo. A local blacksmithing guild will be exhibiting their skills in the Blacksmith Shop.

The dying art of sheep shearing can be seen during the afternoon as well as a petting zoo of gentle local farm animals for visitors of all ages to play with. A miniature train will be around for rides.

The Rebecca Vaughan House, which played a part in the Nat Turner, Southampton Slave Insurrection of 1831, is located at the museum for visitors to see. Experts on the Insurrection will be on hand to answer questions.

Antique cars and tractors will be on site.

If you get hungry, hot dogs, snacks and soft drinks will be available for sale.

In addition to all the special activities, visitors are welcome to tour the Heritage Village and Agriculture & Forestry Museum and all of its outbuildings, including a country store, one-room school, country dwelling, doctor’s office, old post office, two outhouses, old kitchen, barber shop, and little country church.

LYNDA UPDIKE is president of the Southampton Historical Society. For details, call 654-6785 or email