Back when we were freezing our buttocks off at our Trade Muster in February, our friend and former seasonal ranger, Jeff Hyder came up from Walnut Grove and said they were having a day long event at his historical site on March 7. It was to be a day of 18th century living skills demonstrations , culminating in candle light tours through the grounds and the beautiful house. The promise of lunch if we came was a pretty good enticement too so on March 7, a few of us made our ways over the mountains to go.
It was a beautiful morning when I started out at 7 AM and an uneventful three hour drive to the place. Near the Walnut Grove sign, the fields were alive with daffodils and crocus , the first I’ve seen bloomed and one could almost hear the grass growing, everything was greening and vibrantly alive.
Julius Dargan , assistant ranger, met Becky and John Garrou, Ken and Retha Reece and myself. Within a few minutes, Chad Bogart pulled in and Julius told us we had the run of the place. We set up quickly and proceeded to spend one of the most enjoyable days, looking busy when in fact, we were basically on a day long picnic.
There were other people there doing all kinds of things: a fellow carving wood, a blacksmith making hooks and other useful items, Lorraine and Dennis Voelker selling all manner of 18th century wares , and the So. Carolina Rangers were there, but overall, this event was “gently” attended.
I think the biggest draw was the man who had cages of exotic chickens and one of the biggest rabbits I’ve seen in a long time. The kids loved to look at them and seeing these breeds was very interesting.
It was in the mid 60’s and all day long we sat in the sun. After the brutal temps and thirty inches of snow and ice pounding us over the last three weeks, the sun felt like Heaven! It was pretty nice going through the house and walking the grounds. I love the insides of the house as it’s furnished so beautifully and could easily see myself living in such a place.
I especially love the kitchen which is independent, at the back of the house. It has EVERYTHING one needs to cook and a hearth to die for!
Public attendance was good and people drifted by looking at Becky and John’s preserved foods, contents of Chad’s haversack and writing desk, my spinning and Retha’s sewing but let me tell you, the biggest thing we did all day was have a great BBQ lunch and sample John Moss’s excellent roasted rabbit and cheese cornbread.
Over all, it was a great day. You have no idea how nice it is to go to an event and not really do anything but visit one another and enjoy the weather. It’s a rarity and because of that , so much appreciated when it happens. Thanks to Becky and John for the fine pictures and I’ll let them do the talking.