Pioneer Days Friday, Saturday at Pioneer Museum

Published 8:52 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Pioneer Museum of Alabama will host Pioneer Days on Friday and Saturday and those days are traditionally fun and educational for the entire family.

Barbara Tatom, museum director, said so it will be again this year.

“Pioneer Days will feature old-time demonstrations, storytelling for the kids and the young at heart,” she said. “We will have the dulcimer players on the grounds and a circuit riding preacher in the Log Church and, of course, the Pioneer Museum of Alabama will be open with thousands of artifacts for viewing.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

And, this year, Pioneer Days also will feature Forrest Dilmore and his chuck wagon.

“Chuck wagons were the first food trucks,” Tatom said. “Chuck wagons brought good cooking to workers on the move. We usually associate chuck wagons with cowboys and the Old West.”

And that will be the flavor that Dilmore and his chuck wagon bring to Pioneer Days.

Dilmore is one of the most accomplished chuck wagon cooks on the circuit. He has won many awards for his chuck wagon cooking, including Reserve Grand Champion honors at the Arkansas State Championship and the Texas State Fair. He is the reserve grand champion of the Vidalia Onion Festival Chuck Wagon Cook-off. He has won awards for his biscuits, beans and meat and is a three-time winner for his scalloped potatoes.

Dilmore of Cottondale, Florida, cooks as a hobby. His first “hobby” was barbecue and then Dutch oven cooking. But he got burned out on that, so to speak.

“I needed a new challenge and that’s when I got into chuck wagon cooking,” he said. “It’s like Dutch oven cooking but it’s different. Dutch oven cooking is mainly a main dish and dessert.  Chuck wagon cooking is a meat, bread, potatoes, beans and dessert.”

At Pioneer Days, Dilmore will not cook a full meal, rather a sampling of a dessert on Friday and of his scalloped potatoes on Saturday.

“Everything on his wagon is authentic and will be of interest,” Tatom said. “We are looking forward to having Forrest Dilmore at Pioneer Days and to learning more about the history of the chuck wagons and chuck wagon cooking and the role they played in settling the Old West.”

Pioneer Days makes it possible to step back in time, far from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and enjoy the simpler way of life on an Alabama fall day.