Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Camels arrive for trial service in Texas
On this day in 1856, a shipload of camels arrived at the Texas port of Indianola. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis had urged Congress to bring the animals from North Africa to help the army in its Indian operations. Major H. C. Wayne sailed to North Africa in the naval storeship Supply in May 1855 and returned with the first thirty-three camels in April 1856. On June 4 Wayne set off with his caravan for the frontier posts. The expedition stopped for a time at Victoria, where the animals were clipped and Mrs. Mary A. Shirkey made camel-hair socks for the president of the United States. At Camp Verde experiments were conducted to test the camels' utility in chasing Indians and transporting supplies. Although more camels were imported, ultimately the experiment failed. Handlers found the animals smelly, obnoxious, and hard to control. Escaped camels roamed the desert for years and got into the folklore of the region.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Kristin Pope (Marisa's mother), Marisa, and
Log Cabin Village Director, Kelli Pickard
Every 4th grade class who visits Log Cabin Village is eligible to enter the Pioneer Times Innovation Awards contest. Entrants are instructed to select from one of the following prompts:
"Do you know how stinky it was in the cabin? In the winter, it was too cold to take a bath! Plus, the days were shorter, so more of the stinky candles were burned for light. I came up with something to make it smell better! First you get some flowers and spices from your garden and dry them. After that, make a fan, pedal, wire mesh, and wooden board. Place the dried flowers and spices on the board. Next, get the wire mesh and put it over the dried flowers and spices. After that, attach the pedal to fan and put it in front of the mesh. Every minute you turn the pedal is another hour of good smell! If you use this great device, you will never have to worry about the terrible stinking again!"
Friday, April 24, 2009
Now before you think that I'm completely crazy (about cabins), let me explain. The year 2009 marks Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. To celebrate, the U.S. Mint is releasing a series of pennies to commemorate Lincoln's life, beginning with a log cabin penny representing his childhood.
Given the down state of the economy, however, the new log cabin pennies have been circulating more slowly than usual. Although released in February, we just saw our first one today!
And boy did we (me) get excited! Thanks to Michael (one of our Village people) for showing it to us...and letting me keep it in my drawer for luck.
It seems like Log Cabin Village should have some sort of promotion to celebrate the log cabin penny. What do y'all think? Ideas? (sorry...you'll have to do better than suggesting "one penny" admission... :) )
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Seed of modern art museum planted in Fort Worth
On this day in 1892, a group of Fort Worth women received from the state of Texas a charter establishing the Fort Worth Public Library Association, a part of whose stated purpose was "the accumulation of paintings and artistic work of every character for the enjoyment and cultivation of our people. " The resulting gallery was named the Art Gallery of the Carnegie Public Library in 1901, the Fort Worth Museum of Art in 1910, the Fort Worth Art Center in 1954, the Fort Worth Art Center Museum in 1971, and the Fort Worth Art Museum in 1974. The current name was adopted in 1987. The museum, located in the Fort Worth Cultural District, houses the collection of the Fort Worth Art Association. It maintains a well-defined relationship with its two neighbors, the Amon Carter Museum and the Kimbell Art Museum. The Carter focuses on the art of the American West and American art in general until 1940, the Kimbell covers non-Western art and European art up to 1920, and the Modern Art Museum concentrates on European art since 1920 and American art since 1940.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sigh. When did social media become so much like dating?
I suppose the dynamics of "making contact" and "keeping someone interested" don't vary that much in personal versus professional relationships. Anyone who's attended a networking event IRL (in real life--see how web savvy I am?) knows that it's just as much of a "dance" as going to the movies with a new friend (or significant other).
Here at the Village, we are trying to forge (no blacksmith pun intended) new relationships every day. When a recent poll indicated that very few museum visitors feel like museum staff actually care about them, we were stunned. Perhaps we've been living in an idealistic bubble, but we feel fortunate to have historical interpreters (our front-line staff) who TRULY love their jobs and truly love engaging our visitors. And our visitors seem to sense this contagious enthusiasm for both frontier life AND those who want to come experience it. We'd be crushed if our visitors thought we didn't care about them.
As the Log Cabin Village museum educator, my job is to help connect people of the present to our shared past. Recently this job has taken the form of social media ("Wondertwin powers...activate! Shape of...Facebook! Form of...Twitter!" By the way...if you don't get that last reference, you're too young. Google "Hall of Justice." :) :) :) ) It's easy to get mired down in one activity or the other. If you ignore your online presence, then you're doing a disservice to those relationships (which range from as close as one block away to as far as the United Kingdom). If you hang out on Twitter all day, then you may not be serving the people right outside your office door.
So how do you strike a balance? Is balance even possible?
All I know is that our visitors (our friends)--both on-site and online--are not just numbers to us. They represent the desire to do more, to teach more, and to reach more. And if we can do that successfully, then I guess it doesn't matter so much whether we've done it through a hands-on cabin or a Facebook update.
By the way, here are some photos of the Howard cabin progress--part of the reason for my remorse (because they should have been posted yesterday!!! :) :) :) ) The rest of the remorse stems from blog posts still churning in my brain, having yet been brought to life. In due time, in due time...
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Here are photos from today...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Here are photos:
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Meanwhile our intrepid cabin builders brave wind and smoke from wildfires northwest of here... No one said that cabin reassembly was easy! :)
Here are the latest photos from yesterday and today...
While the phrase, "under God" has certainly been contentious in recent years, apparently the Pledge has faced controversy throughout its entire history! As I was scouring the internet for information, one fact became crystal clear: no one can exactly agree and most accounts are incredibly biased one way or another. Some consider the Pledge critical to civic engagement. Others maintain that the government doesn't have the right to mandate allegiance to a patriotic symbol. Like all written history, each account carries with it the biases of time, culture, and historian. As each filter is applied, the resulting facts are skewed to the perspective of the writer. Trying to sort out the truth can be maddening! But then again...isn't that what history is all about?
For more information (and what appears to be a fairly unbiased account), please see the embedded link...
A Brief History of the Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance has been the subject of great controversy over the last few years, but it is not the only time it has been under scrutiny since it was first published by Francis Bellamy in 1892.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Larry G. Bowman
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Don't worry...there's plenty more to come--including roof framing and assembly, floors, doors, windows, chimneys/fireplaces, stairs/ramps...well...you get the picture!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
TIMBER TALES STORYTIME
Featured story: Covered Wagon, Bumpy Trails by Verla Kay. Follow a family on their covered wagon trip west in this lyrical tale of bumpy trails! $3 fee includes a story, fun activities, and a craft, all geared towards 3-5 year olds. Please call 817-392-5881 to make your reservation (required).
April 18, 2009
ALL SOWN UP
Join us as we undertake spring planting! Plow the field, pump and haul water, scatter some seed, and watch the garden grow. Be sure to visit with The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society while you’re here! Cost is regular Village admission plus a $2 fee to make a craft.