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Northeast Georgia History Center shows life in the 1800s with 'Harvest of History'
Four-year-old Mallori Oliver of Gainesville, churns butter with the assistance of volunteer Caye Guidry Sunday during Family Day at the Northeast Georgia History Center. This Sunday the public got to take a look at life in the early 1800s. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Families took a step back in time at the Northeast Georgia History Center as they participated in “Harvest of History,” this month’s Family Sunday event.

“We are trying to show different aspects of life during the early to mid-1800s that would have taken place during the harvest season,” said Julie Carson, education and volunteer coordinator at the Northeast Georgia History Center. “We are tying this event directly to the season of the year.”

Carson said the harvest season gives many opportunities for hands-on activities for kids.

“Three hands-on activities are our goal each time so that people can walk out of here with something in their hands that they’ve done,” she said. “They’re doing things and they’re having fun, but they are also learning something in the process.”

Carson said volunteers at the history center always try to tell kids about the historical connection of what they are doing.

Demonstrations included woodworking using a lathe and blacksmithing. Kids were even able to see mules and how they were used during harvest. Hands-on activities included kneading bread, churning butter, shelling peas and corn, seed display, weaving and drying herbs.

Carson said many of today’s children have never shelled peas, so they wanted to give them the opportunity to try. Kids could try to get dry corn off the cob as well.

By doing this, Carson hopes that kids will have an appreciation for what we have now.

“They can see how far we have come and appreciate the perseverance of our ancestors to hang on,” she said.

Clint Daniel, a volunteer with the Northeast Georgia History Center and a member of the Chattahoochee Woodturners, was making three-legged milking stools on Sunday.

Daniel believes history is an important topic for kids to learn. The knowledge can teach what works and what doesn’t, so mistakes aren’t repeated.

Daniel finished the stools he was making with old-fashioned milk paint. There also was a free drawing for a hand-crafted milk stool inside the center.

Claire and Steven Ryan of Hoschton were visiting the center with their five children, Jonathan, 8, Joshua, 7, Joelle, 5, Joy, 4 and Jolina, 1.

Claire Ryan, who homeschools her children, heard about the Family Sunday event and wanted to see what it was about.
She believes it is important for kids to understand and learn about their past so that they can have a better future.

Claire Ryan also loved the hands-on activities at the center.

“They get to learn from life, which is nice to have the freedom to learn from hands-on experiences,” she said.

“They enjoy the hands-on activities more than just coming to a museum and looking around,” said Ed Johnson, a center volunteer. “With this, they can really feel it.”

Admission to the Family Day was free, courtesy of the sponsor, North Georgia Eye Clinic and Laser Center.

Upcoming events at the center during October include The T.R.R. Cobb House presented by Sam Thomas at 7 p.m. Tuesday. It is free for members and $3 for non-members.

Also, Oct. 29-30, the center will host Ghost Walk, which includes seven walks each evening with the first starting at 6 p.m. and the final walk leaving at 8 p.m. The walks begin and end at the center and cover a five- to six-block area around the

Brenau Campus. Tickets are $10 and reservations/advance payment is strongly encouraged.

For more information on the center, visit the website.

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