Do you ever wish you could hop in a time machine and travel back in time to see what life was like and how the people really lived? Well, last week my family and I had the opportunity to do just that! We stepped back in time to experience life during the late 1800s in the beautiful Ozark mountains. How is this made possible?
Through living history!
You may even stumbled upon Mr. McGregor’s garden, as we did during our stroll through the folk center gardens! We only narrowly escaped being captured and baked into a pie!
The craftsmen at the Ozark Folk Center seek to preserve and pass along the music, art, traditions, and culture of days gone by. These inspiring people present an admirable cultural legacy that places high value on ‘self-reliance, ingenuity, and a strong work ethic, together with the joy of sharing stories, dance, and song’.
The first stop on our incredible journey back in time was to the candle shop, where we were greeted by the sweet, rich aroma of pure beeswax.
We learned all of the steps in the candle making process. We also learned more about how different styles of candle are made and the different types of wax used. We even got to dip and take home our own taper candles!
Next, the boys made their way over to the blacksmith’s shop…
…where they observed the process of creating a horse shoe from start to finish and got to keep the finished product as a souvenir!
Meanwhile, mom checked out the apothecary!
I learned more about the soap making process in a live demonstration, taking home several lovely bars of lavender, peppermint, and rose scented soap. I also picked up a lavender-peppermint scented roll on for use on the pressure points in tension related headache relief. The apothecary also stocks an incredible selection of loose leaf tea, cultivated on site! I decided to try two bags of loose leaf tea, one a chocolate infused black tea and the other a fruity caffeine free apricot tea. Can’t wait to try them! They both smell amazing!
Our next experience involved new discoveries about the art and beauty of quilt and doll making!
Max learned how to make a farmer boy rag doll…
…and decided to present it to a very appreciative baby Alex as a present!
When Max noticed this child sized bed and began asking questions, the nice lady in the quilt shop explained more about the beds that Ozark children slept in during the late 1800s.
We discovered that the mattresses were filled with corn husks and supported by rope. Unfortunately, the rope easily stretched closer and closer to the floor (and bugs) with added weight. That’s when parents reached for this handy tool and showed their children how to tighten the ropes.
For those of you like us that weren’t aware, this procedure is why we still hear the expression ‘sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.’
The last stop on our tour of the Ozark Folk Center was to the pottery shop. We learned about the craftsmanship involved with pottery making and got to have all of our questions answered!
We even got to get our hands dirty with some clay!
We were pretty hungry after our trip back in time. So, we stopped by the Skillet restaurant before beginning the journey home. The home style meal was delicious! The boys especially enjoyed our view of the wildlife from the dining room’s floor to ceiling windows!
All of the pies at the Skillet restaurant are house made. It was a difficult decision but we finally managed to settle on two pieces of the chocolate peanut butter pie to go, as we had completely stuffed ourselves!
It was a good decision!
Thanks for joining us on our journey back in time!
Have you had the chance to visit a living history site or experiment with historical crafts? We’d love to hear more about your adventures!