Rural Heritage Project
Help Preserve Our Heritage
As a historic organization, we’re tasked with helping to preserve the past for future generations; traditionally we’ve done that by preserving physical artifacts and documents. We started the Rural Heritage Project as a means of preserving another kind of history: traditional country skills, specifically those used by women in their homes during the 19th and early 20th centuries. While our museum is located in the city, Jefferson County as a whole is still very rural, with a large agricultural base and a rich country heritage. In our increasingly store-bought, mass produced culture, knowledge of fundamental homemaking skills used by rural women to run their homes, and information about the cadence of traditional country life is slowly dying out with the passing of each generation.
In an attempt to preserve this knowledge before it disappears forever, we are looking to interview citizens of Jefferson County who remember what domestic life was like in the area before 1960- details on family, home, country, and farm life. What they remember about food, entertainment, gardening, and clothing, stories that they recall from their grandparents, etc.
As part of the project, we will be hosting a teaching series called Hands on History. Each series will combine historic background of the subject with a hands-on portion. Classes will be held regularly at the museum on a variety of topics including (but not limited to) hand quilting, sewing, pie and bread baking, canning, heirloom vegetable gardening, and raising chickens.
Classes are free for members and general admission for non-members ($6 for adults, $5 for seniors and active military, $4 for students.) Call Lenka Walldroff at the museum to sign up and to obtain your class materials list.
The Art of Braided Wool Rugs
Our first Hands on History teaching series will teach participants to make their own braided wool rugs. The class will be held at the Paddock mansion on Saturday, January 10 at 10:30AM . Please call ahead to obtain your materials list.