2017-11-09 / Front Page

park will come to life for annual Pioneer Day Nov. 18


Volunteer Dianne Collins (left) manned a spinning will, and was ac­companied by volunteer Ikuko Bouknight, who were a part of a living history demonstration at a past Pioneer Day. This type of antiquated display, amongst many others, will be offered at the upcoming Pioneer Day celebration set for Saturday, November 18. Volunteer Dianne Collins (left) manned a spinning will, and was ac­companied by volunteer Ikuko Bouknight, who were a part of a living history demonstration at a past Pioneer Day. This type of antiquated display, amongst many others, will be offered at the upcoming Pioneer Day celebration set for Saturday, November 18. The Lincoln County Historical Society will hold its 21st annual Pi­oneer Day on Saturday, November 18, at the Lincoln County Histori­cal Park, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and admission is free to the public.

“It’s a fun-filled day of family entertainment, living history dem­onstrations, southern cooking, and even an antique tractor show – you won’t want to miss it!” Historical Society President Gary Edwards said. “We try to make Pioneer Day a little different and hopefully a little better every year, so new guests will be favorably impressed and those that return every year will find something new and interesting as well.”

After a short opening ceremony at 10 a.m. there will be a day full of entertainment at the Lewis Family Pavilion, which is dedicated to the memory of America’s “First Family of Bluegrass and Gospel Music.”

After a performance by the Lin­coln County Red Devil Band, the day will be dedicated to gospel..mu­sic by local churches, as well as the Epps Family and Clarke Kesler.

The Hillbillies in Training (HIT) String Band, under the direction of David Donehoo, will also perform in the vicinity of the log cabin. As a retired educator, Donehoo gave a presentation on the history and tradition of “Old Time Mountain Music” as part of the Society’s His­tory in the Park lecture series earlier in November.

“He is an accomplished luthier, be sure to ask him how many of the instruments he made himself,” Edwards said.

“There will be wagon rides for the kids throughout the day and if they are lucky they will get to ride in a restored manure spreader!” he added.

Pioneer Day is the only day when guests can see all of the attractions of the park in operation. From the grist mill to the cotton gin, black­smithing demonstrations to the cane syrup press, this special fes­tival both highlights and preserves a hardworking way of life that so often gets lost in history.

The Woodlawn Country Store will again be open with plenty of baked goods, canned goods, and many other interesting local items for purchase. There is also a very limited supply of old style bottles of Coca-Cola in the ice box so guests can have the pleasure of popping the top in the opener on the side of the cooler.

The grist mill, under the supervi­sion of Wayne Beggs, grinds corn into fine meal that makes excep­tional grits. This fresh-from-the- mill corn meal will be available for purchase in the country store.

There will be demonstrations of ginning cotton using the circa 1840s animal powered cotton gin. This is one of the few remaining opera­tional animal-powered cotton gins in the country.

“If you don’t know what ginning cotton is all about and the part it played in Georgia’s economy, you will want to spend some time in the gin with Dr. J. B. Mathews,” Edwards said.

“If you’re interested in the making of syrup, stroll over to the cane press where sorghum cane will be pressed to extract the juice, then boiled on the syrup furnace to concentrate it into syrup,” Edwards said, adding that the finished product will also be available for purchase in the Country Store.

For those curious about how apple cider is made, Murray Norman will be on hand to demonstrate and ex­plain the process. Likewise, Debra Pierce will explain how clothes were washed before washing machines were invented. Visitors can stroll over by the park’s well,..warm...them­selves by the wash fire, and talk to Pierce about the process.

After that, stop by and talk to Don and Pat Thomas about the Revolutionary War, and be sure to take a close look at their period clothing. “Ask Don to demonstrate loading and shooting a muzzle load­ing weapon (it’s loud!),” Edwards said.

“Did you ever wonder why black­smiths were originally thought to be magicians?” Edwards segued. “Step into the blacksmith shop and see a demonstration of the art of blacksmithing with a simultaneous explanation of the science behind it by blacksmith Mark Davis.”

Just follow the odor of the coal smoke to find the blacksmith busy at the anvil and forge. For those that don’t know what burning coal smells like, this is a great opportunity them to calibrate their noses.

Southern cooking is one big draw of Pioneer Day, as the Society takes great pride in its food. Members met several weeks ago to pick turnip greens that were then prepared so they could be served on Pioneer Day.

According to Edwards, the apple fritters are always a big hit from the opening moment to the absolute end of the day. Chicken and dumplings, red beans and rice, sausage biscuits, and ham biscuits will round out the southern cooking smorgasbord. At the concession stand, manned this year by the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, will be barbecue, hot dogs, and hamburgers.

One demonstration item that is also tremendously useful is a 1950s vintage portable sawmill, which was originally on the Glaze Farm in Lincoln County. Guests can see this sawmill operate on Pioneer Day, but should also recognize that the mem­bers use the sawmill to provide the lumber needed to repair and restore the buildings in the park.

Most recently, the sawmill was used to cut lumber to finish the con­struction of the building to house the turpentine still, located to the rear of the grist mill.

“The sawmill was also vital in the restoration of the Tenant House, which has a fascinating story. Guests will want to ensure they stop in and hear all about it,” Edwards said.

The Adamson Family turpentine still will also be on display. This large, approximately 600-gallon still brings back memories of the days when turpentine and other naval stores were a significant factor in Georgia’s economy. Unlike most of the items in the park, this still is NOT operational due to legal restrictions.

The Andrew Jackson Reid log cabin was built about 1790 and was the home of Civil War soldier Andrew Jackson Reid before and after the war and will be open for viewing. The Groves-May house was the first structure moved to the Lincoln County Historical Park and was originally on the lot currently occupied by the Bells Supermarket in Lincolnton. The original portion of the house was built in 1878, with subsequent additions in 1882 and in the early 1900s. The house will also be the home of a quilt show and a spinning demonstration during Pioneer Day.

Moved to the park along with the house was Dr. May’s office. It has been outfitted with medical instru­ments donated in large part by Dr. Weems Pennington of Lincolnton.

The Salem Academy, a one-room schoolhouse formerly located ad­jacent to Salem Baptist Church, has been restored and outfitted ap­propriately. The schoolhouse will be the site of an interesting talk by Bob Kinney, who will discuss his experiences as a student in a one- room school.

Colorful and meticulously re­stored antique tractors will again be on display, and each person taking one to the festival will receive a colorful, commemorative pin.

Additionally there will be beauti­ful cars from the Old Ninety Six Model A Car Club, and anyone tak­ing a car from the 1940s or older will receive two free lunch tickets for the southern cooking.

In light of the many attractions, Edwards commented, “We try to improve a little every year, so this year we’re continuing the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for the old cars and we added a second place prize. We’ll also have a commemorative pin for antique tractor show participants.

“We will again display our doc­tor’s buggy, which was lovingly restored under the supervision of the late Jerry Phillips, and we’ll roll out our Studebaker wagon (the Hollenshead wagon) and park it in front of the Country Store where you might have seen it on a Saturday morning,” Edwards said. “We will also have parking lot shuttles as last year thanks to the generous support of Time Transportation and Leasing Inc. of Augusta.”

Thanks were also extended to members of the Historical Society who do substantially all of the main­tenance on the park though their volunteered labor.

The Lincoln County Historical Park is located at 147 Lumber Street in Lincolnton.

For more information, contact Edwards at 757-831-9556.

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