Weston’s Colonial Craft Day highlights “the good old days”

Apples being peeled the old way, ready to be pressed. Photo provided
Apples being peeled the old way, ready to be pressed. Photo provided

WESTON, Vt. – “Return with us to those glorious days of yesteryear,” “the good old days,” which were not always so glorious, so good. There was plenty of hardship and hard work, but also lots of Yankee ingenuity as our colonial forbears succeeded in carving out a meaningful life in the forests and fields of New England during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Craft Day is a tribute to their industry and their skills.

On Saturday, Sept. 18, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., the Weston Historical Society will present their eighth Colonial Craft Day celebration on their museum campus, just north of the Weston Green on Route 100. Skills of the 18th and 19th centuries will be demonstrated, and tools and machinery of the period will be in operation and on display. Previous Craft Days have attracted and entertained audiences numbering into the hundreds.

Favorites from prior years will be on hand, beginning with Cooper Glenn Lael, who will demonstrate the skills used in making barrels, and the 18th-century methods of peeling apples and pressing them into cider always attracts a crowd. Bring some apples; take home some cider.

Weston’s Farrar-Mansur House Museum, an historic homestead and tavern dating from 1797, will be open to visitors, including the remarkable exhibit on local Vermonters in the Civil War.

Lace-maker Donna Faturos will again be demonstrating and explaining her skill, while Kathy Snyder performs beadwork reminiscent of Native American designs. Woodworking from spoon carving to post-and-beam construction will be featured.

And, at the Mill Museum, Weston’s famous Grist Mill will be grinding corn, the hit-and-miss engine will be puffing away, turning a sharpening stone, and the operation of the revolutionary Lane Shingle Maker will be explained.

Featured will be three historic pieces of “rolling stock:” the 1886 wagon used by the Weston Cornet Band for 50 years, an authentic early 19th-century tinker’s wagon and a fully operational John Deere tractor from the mid-20th century.

Colonial Craft Day is always educational, always entertaining for the whole family. Please join us. There is no admission charge; voluntary donations are greatly appreciated. Masks will be required when indoors.

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