Down Home Day draws visitorsPublished 10:52am Friday, April 26, 2013
By MERLE MONAHAN/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
COURTLAND—Despite an overcast day with cool temperatures, the ninth annual Down Home Day at the Southampton Heritage Village/Agriculture and Forestry Museum drew nearly 350 visitors, said event chairperson, Anne Wood Bryant.
“This is about the same as last year,” she added.
Featuring items and demonstrations of chores of years past, the event is held to help people understand how our ancestors lived.
“So many people have no idea,” said Lynda Updike, president of the Southampton County Historical Society. She added that the four-hour event is sort of a prelude to and shorter version of Heritage Day, which is held in September.
Drawing people from over the Tidewater region and North Carolina, visitors were able to watch a saw mill and grist mill in action, while others saw how sheep were sheared. Across the yard a lady demonstrated how baskets were made next to a man carving tiny birds from wood.
New this year was a linotype printing press accompanied by a television program explaining how it worked. This sat next to an 1885 Chandler and Price hand-set press, where apprentice Matthew Bulls printed off bookmarks for visitors
For the youngsters there were rides on the Sun Beam Baptist Church train, with Hoyle Green as conductor, a petting zoo and Mattie, a plastic cow that showed where milk comes from.
Again this year was a mule-handling demonstration and music by Jimmy Ricks’ Shiloh Grass Band. A group of antique cars lined one side of a fence while car owners stood to explain how they worked.
All of the buildings in the village were open for viewing, as well as the farm implement buildings and the museum. Tour guides were on hand for information throughout the afternoon.