27th annual Heritage Day

Published 4:23 pm Friday, September 10, 2021

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The 27th Heritage Day, which offers an interactive experience of a previous time, will be held Sept. 11 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Courtland at the Southampton Heritage Village and Agriculture & Forestry Museum, located at 26315 Heritage Lane.

The event, which was not held last year, is sponsored by the historical society and the village and museum.

A news release added that Heritage Day 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 is a stroll down memory lane. People in the area are encouraged to come and learn how the older generation made the items in their homes and on the farm. Farming activities included the whole family. 

The event includes offerings for all ages to enjoy.

There are separate admission prices at the Ag & Forestry Museum for adults and school-age children, and preschoolers get in for free. Social distancing is encouraged, and masks are required inside buildings. 

The day will start at 9 a.m. with a brief memorial to the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the U.S.

The saw mill, planer mill and grist mill will run intermittently during the day. Crafts people will demonstrate old crafts, with craft items for sale. Lunch will be for sale on the grounds — Steve Ivey’s famous barbecue, Brunswick stew, hot dogs, snacks, apple and sweet potato jacks, water and soft drinks.

The Museum of Southampton History, adjacent at 22541 Linden St. and opening at 10 a.m., will feature to-scale models of local homes and historic buildings built by E.B. Gayle and photographs of many more of the county’s old homes. A restored 1824-34 pistol, found by a diver at Monroe Bridge in the Nottoway River will be on exhibit. 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.

Fifteen layouts with 22 trains will be running throughout the day inside the main building at the Ag & Forestry Museum. 

Those in attendance are encouraged to participate in an updated scavenger hunt to find designated items throughout the museum complex. Kids completing the hunt get a free bag of popcorn. 

The Rebecca Vaughan House will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with Rick Francis answering questions about Nat Turner and the 1831 Southampton Slave Insurrection. 

Mahone’s Tavern, on Main Street, will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with many Confederate exhibits.

Always a popular attraction, the museum’s grist mill will be grinding fine cornmeal, which will be available for a small donation. Samples of hot cornbread, made from that meal, will be given away throughout the day. Volunteers will demonstrate the old technique of typesetting on the museum’s printing presses, including an 1885 Chandler & Price, treadle operated, hand fed. Visitors can print a free bookmark bearing the museum’s logo.

Old cars, tractors and gas engines will be on display. 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, sewn and quilted items, brooms, goat milk soap, knitting, crocheting, as well as other types of needlework and woodwork. 

Artisans from the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia will blend contemporary and traditional art through beadwork and pottery making. 

Some of the old crafts to see are butter churning, washboard washing of clothes, lye soap making and flint knapping. 

See a beekeeper with local honey for sale. Gourds, pumpkins, produce, pickles, jams, jellies and baked goods will also be for sale.

Shiloh Grass, a local bluegrass band, will entertain during the day under the Howell Pavilion, dedicated to founding members William and Helen Howell. 

The little country church is always an attraction and will feature an old-fashioned hymn sing.

Look for storytelling in the one-room schoolhouse and corn-cob pipe making near the corn crib.

Children of all ages will have a ball in a petting zoo featuring gentle pet farm animals. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to see baby chicks pip their way out of eggs because they will be hatching on Sept. 11. 

There will be hay rides and face painting. 

Also, young folks can learn the art of milking a cow by practicing on “Mattie,” a 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, smokehouse, old post office and two outhouses, among other buildings.

For more information, contact Lynda Updike at 757-654-6785, updikes@earthlink.net or via mail at 33335 Statesville Road, Newsoms, VA 23874.