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Visitors get glimpses of the past with period demonstrations of the 1830s at Heritage Day

September 07, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Tony Campbell of Loysville, Pa., demonstrated the fine art of broommaking at Heritage Day at Renfrew Museum and Park in Waynesboro, Pa. on Saturday.
By Roxann Miller

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Visitors to Renfrew Museum and Park on Saturday got a glimpse into their past at Heritage Day.

Period demonstrations of candle making, broom making, quilting and more were featured at the event, which was centered around the theme “Walk Back in Time.”

Bobbi Fulmer of Frederick, Md., knelt down to look closely at the handiwork on several woven scarves.

“It’s gorgeous. I just started trying my hand at crafting my own scarves,” Fulmer said. “I’m admiring their work, which is way more advanced than my own.”

This is the first year she and her family came to Heritage Day.

“Learning about the past is especially important when you have a child,” said Fulmer, who has a 5-year-old daughter, Lauren.

Lauren was particularly intrigued by the animals she could see and pet at Renfrew.

“I think it’s important to show her how far we’ve come, and I think sometimes, we lose sight of that,” Fulmer said.

David Hykes, chairman of Renfrew’s executive committee, said more than 1,000 people attended the second annual Heritage Day.

Because Renfrew is a pre-1830s farmstead, Hykes said Heritage Day “was a natural way to show activities of the day.”

“People in the 1830s did these activities just to survive, such as make their own clothes, make their own rugs, make their own soap, make tools. ... It gives people in today’s hectic pace an opportunity to see that everybody back then, their whole day was basically consumed in just surviving,” Hykes said.

David Blubaugh of Waynesboro brought his daughters, Ella, 6, and Emilee, 4, to Heritage Day to have a little fun and learn a little about their past.

“I’ve always been interested in American history, and it’s just something I’m interested in passing on to them,” Blubaugh said.

As the family stopped by Lucy Cadwallader’s tent, a piece of jewelry caught Ella’s eye.

All of the pieces were made from hair, either human or horse hair, Cadwallader said.

She practices the nearly lost art of hair weaving.

“I’ve been doing it for about 12 years ... when I started Civil War re-enacting in 1992,” she said.

People did the same thing during the Civil War, she said.

“I also try to explain to them the sentimentality of it. That’s what is missing today,” Cadwallader said. “(Today), everything is mass produced. You don’t have the special connection to pieces of jewelry and things that are given.”

Evan and Cheryl Alligood of Waynesboro and their sons, Dylan, 6, and Connor, 9, got a firsthand look at history in action by watching Tony Campbell of Loysville, Pa., make a broom.

“I like history and coming out here and seeing people demonstrate things like how to make a broom and churn butter. It’s very interesting,” Evan Alligood said.

But he said he’s not likely to trade in his modern conveniences for the “good-old days” anytime soon.

Connor agreed that living in the 19th century looks a lot harder than living in the 21st century.

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