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Kids learn how to make ornaments like they did 100 years ago

December 12, 2004|By MARLO BARNHART

SHARPSBURG

When the Friends of the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum were planning their third annual holiday open house for this weekend, Darc Easton suggested they include something for youngsters to do this year.

So Saturday, while the grown-ups were wandering around looking at the exhibits and checking out the log house recently relocated to the property, youngsters were making Christmas decorations the way children might have more than 100 years ago.

"It's our way of showing kids what Christmas ornaments were like before Wal-Mart," Easton said.

Bowls of popcorn and cranberries were positioned around a table at the museum south of Hagerstown on Sharpsburg Pike. Easton had threaded sturdy red thread through large needles so the youngsters could create a Christmas garland for their holiday trees at home.

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"I'm going to put this inside my house," said 4-year-old Nathaniel Marofsky, despite suggestions that he might want to feed the birds by putting it outside. After all, Nathaniel worked intently on the project for nearly a half-hour and didn't seem willing to see it disappear that quickly.

Nathaniel's mother, Etienne Marofsky, said her husband heard about the event and the Hagerstown family decided to check it out.

Elsewhere around the table, William Slifer, a friend of the museum, was cutting out circles for Christmas ornaments to be decorated with paint, glue and glitter. Easton was using her pinking shears to fashion candy cane shapes suitable for decorating and hanging.

Taylor Whitten, 8, of Hagerstown, made an ornament for his Christmas tree at home.

Jim Reeder, chairman of the Friends of the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum, said he was pleased with the turnout on the first day of the two-day event. Exhibits of old farm equipment, milking apparatus, clothing and pioneer trappings are growing through the efforts of the volunteer group.

Other attractions on Saturday included Ami Plessinger, a carousel horse carver, and Santa, who was center stage in his old-time sleigh "pulled" by a life-size white horse statue given to the museum by a Hagerstown restaurant.

Tracy Mitchell of Hagerstown brought her nephew, Zachary Hastings, 9, to the event Saturday.

"We come every year because it is so special," Mitchell said.

Zachary wasted no time getting to see Santa, which he said was his reason for attending the event.

Greg Kinzer of Hagerstown said his mother told him about the event.

"I've been by here, but never inside the building until today," he said.

His son, Brandon Kinzer, 10, was glad to accompany his father.

"My mother has a friend with a farm and I like to go there when the sheep have babies," he said.

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