PINNACLE — Visitors from across northwestern North Carolina and beyond had an opportunity to step back in time Saturday as Horne Creek Living Historical Farm hosted its 22nd annual Cornshucking Frolic.
Farm life in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the period depicted by the farm, was often isolated, with each family handling a majority of its own chores. Because of this, gatherings such as cornshuckings, quiltings, barn raisings and hog killings could quickly become rural social events with neighbors coming from miles around to join in the work and surrounding festivities.
Such was the case on Saturday, as hundreds of visitors from across the state and beyond made their way to Horne Creek to experience an almost forgotten lifestyle. The Cornshucking Frolic is easily Horne Creek’s largest event of the year with staff working for months in advance to plan a wide array of exhibits.
“Initially,” noted Horne Creek Historical Interpreter Ricky Jessup, “we were a little concerned with the weather. But then people started coming in and they kept coming in throughout the day. It’s been a good crowd.”
The large turn-out of visitors was treated to an up-close farming experience through numerous displays and interactive demonstrations.
Farming displays included beekeeping, plowing, tobacco curing, crosscut sawing, woodworking, blacksmithing and a fruit and vegetable dryhouse. Other food production included a grist mill, corn meal grinding and apples from Horne Creek’s nearby Southern Heritage Apple Orchard.
Throughout the day, visitors were drawn by the scents from demonstrations of fresh food preparation. These included cooking traditional favorite dishes, the making of fried pies and apple butter, cider making, the making of sorghum molasses and churning butter. Other available foods included chicken stew and pintos with corn bread.
Turn-of-the-century families provided much of their own clothing and textile crafts such as quilting, bobbin lace and tatting, crocheting, sewing and natural cloth dyeing were discussed and demonstrated. Other crafts on display included chair caning and basket weaving.
In addition to the displays and volunteers’ period clothing, children were entertained with a variety of games and crafts from the era, including the making of “corn shuck dolls.”
Other highlights included a full schedule of bluegrass music, with top bands playing from a stage set up alongside the Hauser Farmhouse. And those wishing to capture a piece of the history were met by an assortment of vendors and talented crafts persons with wares to sell.
“It’s been a good day,” Jessup said. “This is a wholesome family event.”
On Dec. 3 and 5, the farm will host its annual “Christmas by Lamplight” at the Hauser farmhouse, depicting a turn-of-the-20th century Christmas along with food and music of the era. Multiple presentations are offered for each evening, but reservations are required. Tickets are $15 for adults or $6 for children 6-12 and go on sale Oct. 24. The presentation is not recommended for children younger than 6.
For more information, Horne Creek Living Historical Farm can be reached at 325-2298.