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Down Home Day to feature many family activities

By Lynda Updike

COURTLAND

The Southampton Heritage Village and Agriculture & Forestry Museum is featuring its 15th annual family-oriented “Down Home Day — Ya’ll Come!” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, April 13. The museum is at 26135 Heritage Lane, Courtland. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for school-age children. Pre-schoolers are admitted free. The Museum of Southampton History close by will also be open with special exhibits.

Just like the good ole days “down home,” the fun activities planned for the day include something for all members of the family, offering a chance to enjoy life at a slower pace.

Special exhibits include a collection of old hand tools for hands-on activities. Sixteen model trains will be running on three levels, and someone will be blowing glass. A diorama scene of downtown Franklin will be on special exhibit.

Activities include music by well-known local musicians, Jimmy Ricks and his “Shiloh Grass” band.  Kids are free to “milk” Mattie the plastic cow. Another feature is an old hog-killing scene, photos only.

The 1920s sawmill will saw pine logs. While the restored grist mill is grinding meal during the day, several ladies will be frying cornbread, made with some of the freshly ground meal, for visitors to sample. Cornbread used to be an everyday staple.  Now visitors can see how meal is made from corn.

The steam engine will run periodically and blow smoke rings. The little country church will feature local singers during the afternoon.

Kids always enjoy the Scavenger Hunt.

A very old restored printing press will be working as well. Young visitors can make a hands-on bookmark bearing the museum’s logo.

The local blacksmithing guild will be exhibiting its skills in the Blacksmith Shop.

The dying art of sheep shearing can be seen during the afternoon as well as a petting zoo of gentle local farm animals for visitors of all ages to play with.

The miniature train will be around for rides.

The Rebecca Vaughan House, which played a part in the Nat Turner, Southampton Slave Insurrection of 1831, is located at the museum for visitors to see. Experts on the Insurrection will be on hand to answer questions.

Antique cars and tractors will be on site. If you get hungry, hot dogs, snacks and soft drinks will be available for sale.

In addition to all the special activities, visitors are welcome to tour the Heritage Village and Agriculture & Forestry Museum and all of its outbuildings, including a country store, one-room school, country dwelling, doctor’s office, old post office, two outhouses, old kitchen, barber shop and little country church.

A short distance down the road, Mahone’s Tavern and Museum will be open from noon to 5 p.m. in conjunction with this event. To learn more about that site, visit www.mahonestavern.org.

For more information, feel free to contact me, Lynda Updike, at 654-6785, or at updikes@earthlink.net, or at 33335 Statesville Road, Newsoms, VA 23874.