Pioneer Museum holds Blacksmith Workshop Saturday

Published 3:00 am Friday, September 15, 2017

The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is not winding down its activities for 2017. Rather the museum is closing out the year with a bang-up calendar of events beginning with a Blacksmith Workshop on Saturday and continuing into the Christmas season.

Kari Barley, museum director, said although the Blacksmith Workshop is filled, those who are interested in the art are invited to come and watch as the students begin from scratch and finish with a steak turner to take home.

“Steve Lowery of Daleville is an outstanding blacksmith and a great teacher,” Barley said. “Slots for the class are limited and it filled quickly. There seems to be a lot of interest in blacksmithing so it’s possible that the museum will offer another class in the near future.”

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On the heels of the blacksmith class will be a special event for kids ages 2-5 and for this time of year.

The Johnny Appleseed program on Thursday, September 21 will teach pre-schoolers about the American folk hero, a barefoot wanderer who wore a tin pan on his head and carried a sack of apples on his back. As Johnny Appleseed wandered, he planted apple trees along the way – in about 100,000 square miles in the country’s Midwest.

“The Johnny Appleseed program will be a lot of fun for the kids” said Kelly Ormond, museum education and program coordinator. “We will read a story about Johnny Appleseed and sing a song about him. The kids will learn about apples and do a craft that is related to apples. Learning about Johnny Appleseed with be a lot of fun.”

The Johnny Appleseed Program will be from 10 a.m. until noon on September 21. There is a $5 charge for the program. Participation is limited. To register, call 334-566-3597.

The museum’s annual Pioneer Days will be on October 13 and 14. The Friday event is designed for but not limited to school groups.

Pioneer Days is an opportunity for museum visitors to step back in time and enjoy life the way it used to be.

“Pioneer Days is one of our most popular events,” Ormond said. “We have students from schools around the area on Friday and people of all ages on Saturday. Pioneer Days is a family event.”

Ormond said Pioneer Days primarily features re-enactors from the pioneer days and military groups and also demonstrators of old time crafts and life-skills.

Pioneer Days is a time of remembrance and reflection for those who remember the good ol’ days when farming was a way of life for most people in rural America. It is a time of learning for the younger generations and of fostering the appreciation for the old-time ways.

In November, the Pioneer Museum of Alabama will introduce a new event, a Homegrown Cornbread Festival, on November 18.

Prior to the festival date, cornbread contestants will be asked to bring a making of their cornbread for preliminary judging. From those entries, three will be chosen to compete in the cornbread cook-off on stage at the Homegrown Cornbread Festival. Prizes will be cookware from the Lodge Cast Iron Company.

“There will be a lot of activities at the festival including an opportunity for non-profit organizations of offer samples of their cornbreads,” Ormond said. “This is a new event and plans are still underway.”

On December 8 and 9, the Pioneer Museum of Alabama will host Ole Time Christmas and invite the community to enjoy the simplicity of a pioneer Christmas. There will be caroling, stories and cider to sip in a Currier and Ives setting.

Barley said the Pioneer Museum has special activities planned for every remaining month of 2017 and everyone who appreciates the simple way of life is invited.

And now is the best time to purchase museum memberships.

“Those who purchase memberships now will get 2018 memberships but they will also get a bonus of the remaining months of 2017,” Barley said. “That’s four months free and that includes free admission to our fall events.”

Museum memberships dues for individuals are $25 and $45 for families.

For more information or to become a museum member, call 334-566-3597 or visit the Pioneer Museum of Alabama on U.S. Highway 231 north of Troy.