Second Saturday in August at Pioneer Park coming Saturday


Special to the
Opelika Observer

The Lee County Historical Society will host its regular Second Saturday activities on Aug. 11 at Pioneer Park in Loachapoka. Before the weather gets too hot, meet at 9 a.m. for a “garden walk‘n talk” with Dr. Charles Mitchell. The crops garden, with its collection of field crops from the 19th century, will be featured. Learn about pioneer life on a rural, East Alabama farmstead in the 1800s and the crops that these early settlers grew just to survive. After the walk, join Tia Gonzales at 10 a.m. and learn to make herb instilled vinegars. Herbs from Pioneer Park’s gardens will be used for this project. Gonzales is the Coordinator for Auburn University’s Herb and Medicinal Garden. If you prefer indoor activities, you can learn to weave native American “honeysuckle” baskets from an expert. At 9 a.m., Margaret Baggett will teach a class in basket weaving in the Trade Center Museum. Baggett is the Traditional Arts Demonstrator for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and has demonstrated her craft throughout the South. The class will last until noon in order for all participants to complete a small basket. For those who need extra time, Baggett will continue instruction following lunch. If interest is indicated, additional classes will be arranged in the fall for those wishing to make more detailed Creek utility baskets.
On the second Saturday of each month, Pioneer Park is free and open to the public.
Blacksmiths will be working at the forge, spinners and weavers are upstairs in the Trade Center Museum and someone is always cooking up a meal in the Cook House or outdoors. Stay for lunch and enjoy dishes that our pioneer forebearers would have prepared. The Whistle Stop Players gather to play dulcimers at 1 p.m. There’s an informal group that meets in the morning to work on their baskets, “The Basket Cases.” What a great opportunity for Lee County Historical Society members and visitors to enjoy Pioneer Park. If you have a skill to demonstrate or just would like to help out on Second Saturdays, just show up and join the fun.
Dress up in 19th Century attire if you wish. Second Saturdays are like a mini-Pioneer Day throughout the year.
Pioneer Park is sponsored by the Lee County Historical Society, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 1968 and dedicated to the preservation and presentation of local history.
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