Heritage Day coming to Courtland

Published 7:08 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Southampton County Historical Society will hold its 22nd annual Heritage Day from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Heritage Village/Agriculture & Forestry Museum at 26315 Heritage Lane in Courtland.

Watching bees at work during a Heritage Day festival in Courtland are Brenda Young and Pat Lynch. (Photo submitted by Anne W. Bryant)

Watching bees at work during a Heritage Day festival in Courtland are Brenda Young and Pat Lynch. (Photo submitted by Anne W. Bryant)

Admission at the Ag & Forestry Museum is $5 for adults and $2 for school age children. Preschoolers are free.

Museum equipment such as the sawmill, grist mill and printing presses will run throughout the day. Crafts people from Virginia and North Carolina, many in period costumes, will demonstrate old crafts, with some items for sale. Lunch will be for sale on the grounds — barbecue, Brunswick stew, hot dogs, snacks, apple and sweet potato jacks, water and soft drinks.

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The Museum of Southampton History, adjacent at 22541 Linden St., will feature several special exhibits, including six scale models of local homes and historic buildings built by E.B. Gayle and photographs of many more old homes.

The Trains of Southampton exhibit features a working train representing downtown Courtland in the 1950s and includes photos of depots, trains and more. The Prehistory Exhibit displays prehistoric shells, sharks’ teeth, and whale vertebrae from when Southampton County was part of the ocean floor. The Military Room highlights the service of local soldiers through uniforms, photos, memorabilia and weaponry.

Dr. Will Dunstan will be at the Rebecca Vaughan House, on site, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer questions about Nat Turner and the 1831 Southampton Slave Insurrection.

Always a popular attraction, the museum’s grist mill will be grinding fine cornmeal, which will be available for a donation. Samples of hot cornbread made from that meal will be given away throughout the day. Volunteers will demonstrate the old technique of type setting on the museum’s two old printing presses, an 1885 Chandler & Price and a Columbian No. 2 — treadle operated and hand fed.

Antique cars and tractors will be on display. Small gasoline engines will be running throughout the day. In addition, the 1920s sawmill and planing mill will be in operation and the blacksmith shop will be open.

Crafts will include painted gourds, baskets, handmade jewelry, sewing, quilting, candles, floral arrangements, wreaths, paintings, painted rock paperweights, as well as various types of needlework and wood work. Artisans from the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia will blend contemporary and traditional art through beadwork, flute making, wood carving, quilting and pottery making.

Other special demonstrations include wood carving, rug making on a circa 1920 loom, crocheting and knitting. Some of the old crafts to see are lye soap making, butter churning, hominy making, cracklings and lard rendering.

A state certified local trapper will demonstrate how to handle and tan fur. Gourds, pumpkins, produce, pickles, jams, jellies, and baked goods will be for sale.

“Shiloh Grass,” a local bluegrass favorite, will entertain. The little country church is always an attraction, and this year will feature old-fashioned hymn sings. Don Spence, Hillbilly Poet, will recite poems about local history.

There will be a petting zoo and baby chicks hatching. Smokey the Bear will visit, and there will be hayrides, face painting, wheelbarrow rides, and a hen house full of chickens. Also, young folks can learn the art of milking a cow by practicing on “Mattie,” the replica “cow.”