By today’s standards, life in the 1800s required hard work and ingenuity. Har-Ber Village Museum will bring these days of yore to life during Pioneer Day on Saturday, November 9.
With regular admission, visitors can get a look at daily life with hands-on activities, demonstrations, music and more. A variety of presentations will provide an eye-opening look at how families went through their day-to-day activities.
Grove’s Bob Weeks will use period-style equipment and natural materials to craft brooms. Cheryl Franklin of Tiff City, Mo., will show the process used to turn surplus grease into soap by rendering the fat, blending in lye, stirring over a fire and pouring into a mold.
In hands-on demonstrations, visitors can also help churn cream into butter, grind coffee and use 19th century methods and equipment to wash and dry laundry. During rope making exhibitions, Brent Paschall of Pleasant Hope, Mo., will use period equipment to convert twine into rope and allow guests to take a turn.
Cooking in pioneer times was often carried out with Dutch ovens over an open fire, and Ruth Field, a Joplin, Mo., living historian, will display the methods used to cook a variety of foods. Another member of the Field family, Nethla Field, will prepare sauerkraut as pioneer women would have to preserve cabbage for the winter. She will also display culinary herbs and discuss the process used to preserve them for winter use.
Today’s clothing styles differ drastically from what was worn in the 1860s, and Sheri McCullough of Russell, Ark., will showcase the type of clothing worn by women during the 19th century and demonstrate, layer-by-layer on two mannequins, each article of clothing that would have been worn.
Not only were the styles of clothing different, but the steps taken to create garments have also changed since pioneer times. Guests at Pioneer Day will see a variety of exhibitions showing the progression of textiles into clothing. During flax-spinning demonstrations, Jeannie Wheatley, the Weaver at Har-Ber Village, will convert flax plants to fiber and then to yarn using period equipment and techniques.
Visitors can also see the natural dyeing process of using plants and chemicals to color wool, linen, and cotton yarns with Joi Chupp of Stella, Mo. Becky Paschall of Pleasant Hope, Mo., will use antique treadle and hand-cranked sewing machines to show the advanced technology of that time.
Go back to school in the Har-Ber Village Schoolhouse and discover what a typical classroom day would have been like under the direction of a “Schoolmarm.” Michelle Martin, a professor, author, and living historian from Bartlesville, Okla., will exhibit lessons, discipline and daily activities of teachers and students.
Entertainment will also include square dance demonstrations by the Green Country Squares; period music on guitar, banjo and dulcimer; and storytelling. Allen Sanders of Blue Jacket, Okla., will also display Katahdin sheep, which are a special breed used primarily for meat.
“Pioneer Day will provide our guests a look at cutting edge technology, as viewed by 19th century people,” said Amelia Chamberlain, director. “They had the tools available to them to make life easier, and it is interesting for us to take a look back at how things were done and compare it to the luxuries we are afforded today.”
School groups are encouraged to attend on Friday for a Pioneer Day preview, which will feature the period clothing demonstration, butter making and sheep display.
Also keep in mind if you are planning a trip to Grove that Friday, November 8th and Saturday, November 9th, are the Grove Christmas Open House event, with great deals and activities throughout town.