Pioneer Days features crafters with stories to tell

Published 8:35 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2022

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The Pioneer Museum of Alabama hosts several “not to be missed” events each year and, at the top of the list, is Pioneer Days, which is set for 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Friday and Saturday on the museum grounds.

Barbara Tatom, museum director, said Friday offers the opportunity for area schools and home schoolers to be a part of the hands-on learning opportunities along with other participants in Pioneer Days.

Saturday is always a special time to come back to the way it used to be, Tatom said. “Families enjoy coming together, as do groups and individuals, to be a part of the pioneer experience.”

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Pioneer Days 2022 features a variety of demonstrators and scheduled appearances.

“We are excited about the demonstrators because they, not only demonstrate their skills, but share the stories of their crafts,” Tatom said. “Visitors enjoy hearing how the demonstrators became interested in their crafts and, perhaps, are inspired to know more and to learn themselves.”

Tatom said of special interest to people of all ages, but especially to youngsters, is the art of making corn husk dolls.

Virginia Ryals will be at Pioneer Days and will share the story of how she learned to make corn husk dolls while volunteering at Historic Westville in Lumpkin, Georgia.

“I believe it is important to learn and continue using the crafts of my ancestors,” Ryals, said.

When Wilhelmina Thomas was a child, she was the helper for her mother who was a seamstress.

As a high school student, she learned hand embroidery.

“Hand sewing is a basic life skill,” Thomas said. “It’s a skill that grows as you complete projects, learn new skills, explore other cultures and read history.”

Tatom said the demonstrators at Pioneer Day will each have a story to tell.

“And, their stories often peak interest in their crafts and, perhaps, are encouragement for others to want to know more,” Tatom said. “And, hopefully, from hearing the stories the demonstrators share, visitors to Pioneer Days will be encouraged to crafter a new skill.”

At Pioneer Days 2022, there should be something of interest to everyone, from blacksmithing to rope making. From hearth cooking, to shingle making, from riding a mule-drawn wagon to watching a re-enactment, visiting a Native American campsite and listening to great old-time music. “

The Burning Bush Cowboy Church’s Chuck Wagon will be on the grounds, The General Store will be open and, reenactors from the War of 1812 and Native Americans will have demonstrations throughout the day.

The entertainment on Friday will be Lenny Trawick from 1 until 4 p.m. On Saturday, the Arnold Sheppard Band will entertain from 1 until 4 p.m.

Admission is to Pioneer Days is $12 and members and children ages five and under are admitted free.

Pioneer Days is made possible with grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Sweet Home Alabama.