29th Heritage Day set for Sept. 9

Published 5:38 pm Thursday, September 7, 2023

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The 29th annual Heritage Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Courtland, sponsored by the Southampton County Historical Society and the Southampton Heritage Village/Agriculture & Forestry Museum.

A museum news release noted that the event will be held at 26315 Heritage Lane in Courtland. 

For admission at the museum, there will be different fees for adults and for school-age children. Preschoolers will be admitted for free. 

The saw mill, planer mill, steam engine 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 and will include Steve Ivey’s famous barbecue, Brunswick stew, hot dogs, snacks, apple and sweet potato jacks, water and soft drinks. 

Twenty-nine trains will be running throughout the day inside the main building at the Ag Museum. 

Attendees can 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 John Quarstein and 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 monetary 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 model. 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, handmade wooden dough bowls, knitting, crocheting, as well as other types of needlework and wood work. 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, hominy, 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. 

Also, there will be an assortment of old “Look,” “Time,” “Life” and other magazines from as far back as 1942 available for sale.

Music by “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 music by Drew and Judy Dunn and also Kay Weaver. 

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 at a petting zoo, featuring gentle pet farm animals. 

For those desiring to see baby chicks pip their way out of eggs, they will be hatching on Saturday, Sept. 9. 

There will be hay rides and face painting. Also, young folks can learn the art of milking a cow by practicing on “Mattie,” the museum’s 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, the one-room school, a country dwelling, doctor’s office, smoke house, old post office and two outhouses, among other buildings.

“This 29th annual Heritage Day event promises to provide a wholesome and fun outing for the whole family,” museum officials stated. “Visitors will see how the older generations lived, 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,” the officials added. “We offer something for all ages to enjoy.”

For more information, contact Lynda Updike by phone at 757-654-6785 or via email at updikes@earthlink.net.