Pike County finds history

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2001

at upcoming Pioneer Day


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Who needs a time machine to go back to the past?

One needs only to make the short drive to the Pioneer Museum of Alabama on Pioneer Day, Saturday, Nov. 10, and they will find themselves back in the 1800s.

Pioneer Day is an annual event and one that is looked forward to with great anticipation by those who like to recreate the past.

"This year we invite everyone to come and take their family back to the past as pioneer and Native American camps come to life," said Charlotte Gibson, museum director. "You can spend the day with history and the evening with music as the amphitheater fills with sound."

There will be so much to do at Pioneer Day that visitors to the past will want to stay a while and a while longer.

There will be demonstrations where visitors can actually taste the old-time flavors of smokehouse sausage, cane juice from the mill, buttermilk from the churn and biscuits from the baker, Gibson said.

And, others where they can watch spinners, weavers, quilters, potters, basket weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters and candle makers share their crafts.

"You can stop by the old country store and play a game of checkers or visit the one room schoolhouse for a lesson in readin,’ ‘ritin’ or ‘rithmetic," Gibson said. "Or, if you just want to sit awhile, there is no better place than the old log church, where you can join in the singing of traditional favorite hymns."

A walk through the pioneer and Native American camps will a fun-learning experience as will a guided walk on the nature trail with Dr. Darryl Searcey.

Fiddles and flat tops will provide background music for leisurely strolls around the grounds and a horse and wagon and a miniature train will be available for those who would rather ride than walk.

If all of that is not entertainment enough, just wait until Wild West entertainer Bruce "The Southpaw" Brannen cracks his whip and does his fancy ropin’

tricks. He’s just as entertaining as a cowboy poet, so stick around to hear him read after he ropes.

"We’ll have hotdogs, barbecue, pizza and boiled peanuts for sale, so you won’t have to leave until you’re ready," Gibson said. "And, we don’t want anyone to leave without visiting the museum and our gift shop. So plan to stay a while and, if you do leave, plan to come back for entertainment after dark.

Three on a String will play at 6 p.m. in the amphitheater followed by the Atlanta Rhythm Section at 7 p.m.

Museum gates open at 9 .m. and the price of admission – $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12 – includes all day festivities, museum admission and both concerts.

Museum members with current enrollment are admitted at no charge.

Membership to the museum is $35 for families and $20 for individuals.

"Join now and your membership will include Pioneer Day as well as admission during November and December and all of 2002," Gibson said. "It’s a great deal for a very reasonable price."