Ever wonder what it was like to live as a pioneer? Volunteers and museum visitors experienced this during the three Pioneer Days offered by Union County Heritage Museum. Pioneer Day is an annual celebration that has been happening for 20 years. This event took place on Thursday, October 20th –Saturday, October 22nd, 2023. Pioneer day is an annual event that lets people experience hands on activities and crafts from earlier time periods. It is a free event supported by the Mississippi Arts Commission and Visit Mississippi as well as the museum’s Community Partners.
Throughout the weekend, there are blacksmith demonstrations, weaving, quilting, rug making, toy making, storytelling, etc. “Our wonderful volunteers […] demonstrate the many traditions, creativity, and crafts that were alive and well during the days of settlement and afterward in our communities,” said Museum Director Jill Smith.
The exhibit known as “Crossroads of the Heart” was open during the event in the museum gallery. This exhibit reflected the time in the region’s history when people had to make whatever they needed. The exhibit also showed how that ingenuity has changed into the creativity and tradition that local artisans use today.
Thursday and Friday were set aside for schools and students to visit and learn. There were a lot of hands-on opportunities for students to learn how things were done when life was more dependent on physical skills and physical labor.
Saturday was open to the public and was referred to as “family day”. During the event on Saturday, there were many games and activities. Visitors had a chance to compete in old-fashioned games including corn shelling contests, egg and spoon races, crosscut saw contests, etc.
The museum is located at 114 Cleveland Street in New Albany. Check out the museum’s latest projects on Facebook @Union County Heritage Museum.