Saturday, January 12, 2008

This Is the Place Village

I love that place! When we were kids we volunteered as pioneer docents at the village for about 4 summers. It was so wonderful. We learned how to churn butter, card wool, make herb sashays, spool knit, play hoops and graces, squished clay between our toes at the brick kiln, danced in the social hall, took our shoes off and stuck our feet in the pond, etc. We had our bonnets and accurate to the time period dresses. 2-3 petticoats and pantaloons for my little sisters and braids. In fact in 100 degree weather we soon found you wanted more petticoats than one because of the lovely draft that went up your skirt. When we were younger they used to have the best system. They had paid staff in each site and volunteers were there to help and support the paid staff. This gave the volunteers a chance to know all the different parts of the village and it was the best experience. When my Emily was little I decided to volunteer again for a summer. I was sorely disappointed!

They changed to having only two paid staff out of the whole village! Which meant that several of the buildings were shut and locked and this frustrated the visitors that paid good money to visit because there were sites they couldn't see. Many of the volunteers they had, they made do crafts with kids so then all we ended up doing was the crafts and no one wanted to learn anything about the sites. They burned bridges with our Civil War association who used to come and have battles in the streets and mock executions and even a hospital on the lawns of the houses. My brother was a rein-actor and was executed and we played the distressed Southern Belle sisters since my brother was a Johnny Reb. Now they want nothing to do with the antics and politics of our sweet village. Our pictures were even in the paper.

They also took the small quaintness of the village and next to the small cabins that were the actual houses of true pioneers, and instead built obnoxious monstrosity buildings next to them. They also put a "train" in the village with advertisements on the side. Why is all this "progress" upsetting to us? Well, back when we used to volunteer, on days where very few visitors came or it was raining, the volunteers hung out in the homes, making crafts and visiting one another. We all used to say that at times like those you felt like you had transported back in time. And the moment someone said it or even whispered it, you felt disappointed because you felt it too and it brought you back to the present. It was an amazing experience!

Being homeschooled we were also given the opportunity to volunteer before school let out. It is sad to me that because of the new modern touches, it doesn't feel like the quite peaceful village it once did. I still love that place, but my heart is kind of broken for what has been done to it. I wish I could rewind and visit it then. I guess in a way it also reminds me of a quaint and simpleness that my family enjoyed back then. Now just like the village, it is broken and "modern". C'est Lavie.

1 comment:

The Gunnell Bunch said...

Oh man, such good memories. Too bad they commercialized the whole thing. Bah! I'll always remember the "ghost" of the pioneer village too, haha.