Watch history come alive at 'Pioneer Day'
The event is sponsored annually by the Lincoln County Historical Society.
The newest addition to the park is Salem Academy, a one-room schoolhouse dating back to the early 1900s. The school building, along with its "outdoor plumbing," were carefully transported from Salem Baptist Church to the historical park in July of 2006.
It is believed that the academy was built in late 1902. According to the minutes from the Salem Baptist Church Conference held November 8, 1902: "Called for new business...Granted trustees of Salem Academy permission to get board from the timber on church land to cover the schoolhouse."
A contradictory notation in the November 24, 1910, issue of The Lincoln Journal states: "Rev. J.E. LeRoy
of Leathersville spent Wednesday in town with friends. Mr. LeRoy says the people of his neighborhood have recently completed a new schoolhouse at Salem and now have a good school, with Miss Grace Dill as teacher. Until this school was located, many of the people were greatly inconvenienced in having such a long distance to send their children to the other schools of that section.'"
Whether Salem Academy was built in 1902 or 1910, it is still a rich part of Lincoln County's heritage and is certain to attract a lot of attention at this year's festival.
Other featured attractions are:
Bunch-Poss Gristmill - Built in the late 1920s, the mill was moved from its home on Ward Avenue to the historical park in the summer of 2005, and since then, has undergone extensive renovations. Donated by Jackie and Alex Willingham, the gristmill was in operation until the late 1970s.
Hogan Blacksmith Shop - This building contains two forges, one run with bellows and the other with a
hand-turned blower. It is a replica of the old blacksmith shop on the "Hollenshead Place" on the Augusta Highway.
Pine Log Cabin - Built around 1800, the 16' x 22' structure boasts two porches, wooden-shutter windows, an open-face fireplace, and a variety of period furnishings. Although the builder of the cabin is unknown, records show that it was once the home of Andrew Jackson Reid who fought for the South in the Civil War. The cabin was donated to the historical society by Dr. Robert Williams.
Corncrib - This 8' x 10' cabin came from the "Old Frank Hardy Place" on the Augusta Highway. The unshucked corn was dug out of the crib with a pitchfork. Two sides of the structure have been converted into a concession stand.
Groves-May House - Built in the 1870s and appointed with period furnishings, the two-story house serves as the focal point of the park. Quilts will be on display here during Pioneer Day.
Doctor's Office - Built by Dr. E.R. May, the office houses medical equipment donated to the historical society by Dr. Weems Pennington, Sr.; his wife, Margaret; and others.
Cotton Gin - It is believed that this animal-powered cotton gin dates back to the 1830s and 40s and was manufactured in Clinton, Georgia (Jones County). Apparently, there are very few gins of this type in the United States. The gin was a gift from L.E. Reese.
Estes, Lake, & Ferguson Smokehouse - The smokehouse was one of the first buildings acquired by the society. Built around 1790, it was previously located on the "Estes Place" on Lovelace Road.
Two-Horse Wagon - This wagon originally belonged to the late J.C. Hollenshead. In fact, there are still two chairs in the wagon; one of these was occupied by Mr. Hollenshead's son, Wright Hollenshead, as he road around town. Croaker sacks still hang on the sides of the wagon.
Sawmill - The historical society bought the portable sawmill (circa 1950) in Royston, Georgia, approximately 10 years ago and brought it back to Lincoln County where it had previously been owned by Frank Glaze. The sawmill is still used for various projects around the park.
Lewis Family Pavilion - This 60' x 60' multi-purpose structure features a stage, restooms, storage rooms, a sound system, and slatted wooden pews purchased from the Union Grove Campground in White County, Georgia. The building was officially named after "America's First Family of Bluegrass Gospel Music" at a special ceremony held at the park in May of 2003.
While viewing the various historical buildings as well as antique tractors, cars, and engines on display at the park, visitors may also enjoy talking with historical society members who will be on hand in pioneer dress to answer questions about life in the olden days.
"We invite everyone to come to the historical park for Pioneer Day," said Nelson Brooks, historical society president. "Basically, it is a hands-on, museum-quality experience for the entire family. What Lincoln County has in the historical park is a 'baby Williamsburg.'"
The event will feature:
Day-long entertainment, showcasing some of the CSRA's best singers, dancers, etc.
A country store run by Nina Albea and stocked with corn meal made from Lincoln County corn and ground on site, sorghum syrup, antiques, home-made goodies, arts and crafts, wrought iron from the blacksmith's shop, UGA memorabilia. John Deere items, and much more.
Lectures concerning matters of historical interest in the Salem Academy schoolhouse.
Fresh apple cider, pressed by Murray and Mickey Norman. Free samples will be given to one and all.
Washing clothes the old-fashioned way, demonstrated by Jane McWhorter. Visitors need to note that one of the first ringer washers ever made will be on display.
Soap making - Anneice Butler. Basketmaking - Julia Price.
Buggy rides and hay rides.
A costume contest for all attendees, complete with prizes.
An "archeological dig" for the children, sponsored by the Augusta Archeological Society.
Corn grinding at the grist mill - Wayne Beggs.
Cotton ginning - Wyatt Albea and Larry Pinson.
Blacksmithing - Mark Davis, Jerry Phillips, and Nelson Brooks.
Sawmill operations - Jerry Stone.
Free cotton candy for children of all ages.
And whenever stomachs start growing, "would-be pioneers" may eat their fill of apple fritters, a historical society specialty; Ben Ross' ham and sausage biscuits from the smokehouse; red beans and rice; turnip greens; fried corn bread patties; boiled peanuts; hamburgers; and hot dogs.
Moreover, as is the custom, a miniature "Tree of Remembrance" will be placed in the park on Pioneer Day. Anyone desiring to put a memorial or honorary light on the tree for loved one may donate $1 and submit the name to the historical society for this purpose. The real Tree of Remembrance will be located in downtown Lincolnton.
Local residents and gusts are encouraged to visit the historical park on Pioneer Day to get a sense of the county's past, long before the days of TV phones, Lindsay Lohan, and hybrid cars. It promises to be a fun and educational event for the entire family.
There is no admission charge.