Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unique, affordable holiday gifts...all to support a worthy cause!

'Tis the season when holiday gift giving pushes to the forefront of many of our lives.  As such, we'd like to remind you to consider your local museum stores when searching for that perfect gift for all your special someones.  Fort Worth has no shortage of amazing museums with fun and inspiring shops offering unique items for sale.

In the case of Log Cabin Village, many items are made right here on site.  The dollars you spend in our store go to support our overall site and educational programs.  It's local shopping at its best!  We can even pack your treasure in a special Log Cabin Village backpack (a steal at only $2.95).  And yes...we still have TCU purple in stock. 

We hope you'll consider our or another Fort Worth museum store when doing your holiday shopping.

Log Cabin Village Museum Store
2100 Log Cabin Village Lane
Fort Worth, TX  76109

Open Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
The outside gate is shut 1/2 hour before closing, so you'll want to get here before then.

In addition, you do not have to pay admission if you only wish to shop in our store!  We're open through December 23rd...  Handmade items are one-of-a-kind, so hurry up and claim your goodies before someone else does!

Herb dolls for the culinarian in your life (herbs from our herb garden)
Log Cabin Playset--Build your own!

Sunbonnets made here on site!

Beautiful corn husk wreaths--holiday and harvest colors available.  Made on site.

Coonskin caps for the adventurer in you...nature guides, games, and books to pass the time.

Got someone on your list who LOVES Fort Worth as much as we do?  We've got you covered!

Pennywhistles at amazing prices for your budding musician.

Knitted baby blanket/hat and scarf--made on site.

Dolls for young and young at heart--rag, yarn, and clothespin.  Rag and yarn dolls made on site, clothespin dolls made in Dallas.

Stuff their stockings with an old-fashioned treat!  A STEAL at only 15 cents each.  Buy 10!

Bead and leather bracelets fit nicely in stockings as well...

As do unique pencil sharpeners...

And wooden nickels or tops.

Maybe you'd prefer a Village kitty or Topsy-Turvy doll to snuggle with.

Perhaps your "do-it-yourselfer" aunt would like some more knowledge (aka "Country Wisdom")

Old-time toys, perhaps?

Historic currency just for fun?

Beautiful wrought-iron candle-holders, triangles, nails, and other items handmade on site by our blacksmiths

Beautiful framed original sketches of our buildings

Also available as notecard prints

Exquisite walking sticks made on site from local reclaimed wood (fallen limbs and the like)

Cornhusk dolls made with care on site

Log pencils, wooden animals (made on site), and Texas keychains...the options are almost endless!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A moment of blogspiration...

Hello dear blog readers...it's been entirely too long!

Please know that, with regards to our absence, "it's not you...it's me." The good news? The reason there are so few blog entries lately is because we are BUSY! We are grateful for the work that makes it difficult to stop, breathe, and write.

That said, we miss you! We are much better at "micro-blogging" via Facebook and Twitter, so please check us out there for more frequent updates.

So what's new? We've just come through a very successful fall, full of music, candle dipping, and even an early visit from St. Nicholas (if you missed him, don't worry. He'll be back at our Dec. 17th holiday event). The weather provided reprieve from a brutally hot summer, and now the leaves are falling steadily, blanketing the museum grounds.

Winter is coming quickly. We're preparing firewood for the cast iron stoves and capes/shawls for the interpreters. And we're busily readying items for our upcoming Holidays at the Hearth event (details below).

But mostly we're coming off a time of being thankful to look ahead with hope at what the coming year may bring. And it looks pretty darned good.

Incidentally, are you wondering why there's a photo of a leaf and twig hut at the top of this post? Blogspiration, my friends...provided by one of our wee visitors who took the time to artfully craft this small "dwelling" behind the Howard Cabin during her visit out here this past weekend. Proof that stopping, breathing, and appreciating the little things can be not only blogspirational, but also cathartic. Thanks for the reminder, dear one.

Happy holidays to you and yours...

Holidays at the Hearth
December 17, 2011

1-4 p.m.
Enjoy holiday music, string popcorn and cranberries, spin the dreidel, help make pomander balls, tamales, paper chains, embossed cards, ornaments, and more! You can even have your photo taken with our historic St. Nick ($5 fee for photo and folder). No reservations required. Cost is regular Village admission plus a $2 craft fee to make a punched tin ornament.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Did you know that raised bed gardening was the method of choice for most kitchen gardeners in the mid-19th century? Neither did I until our newest historical interpreter, Pat, pointed it out. Like all of our interpreters, Pat brought with her a unique skill set dynamically suited to educating and inspiring our visitors. And as we do with all our interpreters, we set about figuring out how best to utilize (exploit) these skills to our advantage.

Pat is a Master Gardener and has devoted much of her life and time to educating children and adults about gardening. She researched 19th century gardens and developed the plan you currently see in progress. And so the Log Cabin Village raised bed garden is currently underway. Want to see our experiment unfold? Stay tuned...

Please click on the slideshow to start and to control the speed...

Friday, October 7, 2011

The legend of the corn husk doll...

Very soon we'll be featuring our Frontier Fall Fest event here at Log Cabin Village. We're very excited because in addition to a number of activities included with regular Village admission, visitors will have the chance to make copper bracelets with a Silversmyth for $5 (while supplies last) and corn husk dolls for $3.

Corn husk dolls are an interesting craft because they have roots in many different cultures. This is more than likely due to the common nature of people using available materials to create useful and/or delightful things. Although most commonly associated with Native American culture, corn husk dolls appear in the history of many of our white, black, and Latino ancestors as well. They are truly a cross-cultural historical toy!

Perhaps most famous is the Legend of the Corn Husk Doll cited frequently as deriving from Native American culture. While I haven't yet discovered a specific origin (or determined whether it is, indeed, a true Native American legend), it is a great story that reminds us all of the dangers of being vain and self-centered. Most sources indicate that the legend stems from the Iroquois Confederacy, of which Oneida and Seneca were parts. Here are a few different sources for the legend, with only slight variations in each. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When something is right, but not right for us.

Our Mission
The purpose of Log Cabin Village is to educate the public through the collection, preservation and interpretation of artifacts, representative structures, and other items of social and cultural significance to Texas’ pioneer era (1840-1890).

Our Vision
Log Cabin Village aspires to build connections to 19th century Texas by providing educational opportunities and sensory experiences that are engaging, accurate, and as authentic as possible.

A mission statement is a tricky thing. Museums, non-profit agencies, and even corporations hire consultants, sponsor retreats, and read tea leaves to try and figure out their mission. How can you condense your life's work and purpose into one brief, often catchy, statement?

Why is it even important to do so?

Quite simply, mission statements provide a focus for your organization. Many well-intentioned efforts have failed because there was no clear direction behind which to rally. Museum staff members in particular utilize their mission statements as a driving force behind every operation they are involved in. From educational programming, collections (and collections policy), and exhibits to museum store merchandise, mission should be kept in mind at all times. And if it's not mission-related, then it shouldn't be part of your museum.

But what if the item's really cool? And rare? And historically relevant to your local community? What if you know a program's going to make a LOT of sorely needed revenue for your museum, even though it's not mission-related? What if the exhibit will attract record numbers of visitors in a time of economic turmoil?

These are poignant questions that each museum struggles with on a regular basis. Here at the Village, we tend to take a fairly traditional stance: if it ain't related to our mission, it ain't happening here.

But it's so sad when we have something like this...

Or this...

And we want to share it with the world.

But we're not a 20th century museum. We don't deal exclusively with Fort Worth history. In fact, we only have one structure from Fort Worth (originally North Fort Worth): the Marine School house. So unfortunately, these items should not be part of our collection (and shouldn't have been accepted as donations in the first place).

So now what? We will work to find a place for them, preferably (and ethically) in another local museum whose mission they DO fit.

And they will be home.

UPDATE: We are very excited to announce that the awesome fan will be going to the Leonard's Department Store Museum right here in Fort Worth! Yay!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Frontier Fall Fest...

Frontier Fall Fest will be here before you know it!

Frontier Fall Festival Flyer_LCV

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer maintenance closure...

Dreaming of autumn...

Greetings all!

Just a reminder that we will be closing for our annual summer maintenance August 22nd-September 5. We will reopen at 9 a.m. on September 6.

Thanks to all of our supporters who have continued to visit despite this bewildering heat. We are so grateful for you!

See you in September!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's hot. Real hot.

Dust devil near Childress, TX

As one of the hottest (thus far) summers in north Texas history continues to roll on, we continue to be amazed at the hardiness of both our staff and our visitors! The interpreters proudly demonstrate their craft and engage our guests without complaint. In turn, the visitors listen and participate eagerly despite the sometimes oppressive heat.

Y'all are the best!

Unfortunately Texas is also witnessing a severe drought. And even more unfortunate is the fact that drought is not new to Texas. Here's more from the Handbook of Texas online:

DROUGHTS. Droughts have been recorded as a problem in Texas since Spaniards explored the area. Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca found a population of soil tillers near the site of present-day Presidio, where it had not rained for two years. Regarding the white man as a god, they begged him to tell the sky to rain. In 1720 a summer dry spell in Coahuila killed 3,500 of the 4,000 horses that the Marqués de Aguayo, governor of Texas, was prepared to bring to Texas. A drought in Central Texas dried up the San Gabriel River in 1756, forcing the abandonment of a settlement of missionaries and Indians. Stephen F. Austin's first colonists also were hurt by drought. In 1822 their initial food crop of corn died from lack of moisture.

Each decade since then has been marked by at least one period of severe drought. Associated with dry times are grasshopper plagues, brush and grass fires, sand and dust storms, crop failures and depression, livestock deaths, disease resulting from insufficient and impure drinking water, and migrations of citizens from parched territory. Information concerning pioneer-day droughts is sketchy because of the absence of official statistics; but data on some droughts, especially those during the nineteenth century, can be compiled from individual complaints recorded in newspapers, diaries, and memoirs. In 1883 Texas opened its western school lands, drawing thousands of immigrant farmers to the area. One of the worst droughts in Texas history occurred in 1884–86, causing most of the farmers to fail and to return to the East. In later years official detailed recordkeeping makes possible a better understanding of the geographical distribution of droughts. Drought occurs when an area receives, in a given year, less than 75 percent of its average rainfall. The number of drought years in each of ten geographical areas of Texas in the 100 years between 1892 and 1992 was as follows: Trans-Pecos, sixteen years; lower Rio Grande valley, seventeen; Edwards Plateau, seventeen; South Central, fifteen; Southern, fifteen; North Central, twelve; Upper Coast, thirteen; East Texas, ten; High Plains, ten; and Low Rolling Plains, eight.

There has been at least one serious drought in some part of the state every decade of the twentieth century. The most catastrophic one affected every part of the state in the first two thirds of the 1950s. It began in the late spring of 1949 in the lower valley, affected the western portions of the state by fall, and covered nearly all Texas by the summer of 1951. By the end of 1952 the water shortage was critical; Lake Dallas for instance held only 11 percent of its capacity. Spring rains in 1953 gave some brief respite to Northeast Texas. In the Trans-Pecos, however, only eight inches of rain fell the entire year of 1953, and the drought grew worse from 1954 to 1956. Streams only trickled or dried up completely. The drought ended abruptly in the spring of 1956 throughout Texas with slow soaking rains. There were several less severe and shorter droughts in the 1970s. Most were ended by rain from tropical storms. A massive heat wave in 1980 started a severe drought that blistered most of Texas during the early 1980s. This gradually worsened until it reached extreme proportions in the Pecos River valley during 1983. Even mesquite trees withered. It was ended in the western half of the state by the residue of a north Pacific cyclone, which moved across Mexico. The drought shifted eastward in 1984, inflicting hardship on central and southern Texas; some towns ran out of water and others enforced rationing. On occasion, attempts to make rain artificially have been instituted by both private individuals and public organizations, but these have met with little success. Constant improvement in moisture conservation and utilization, however, has aided Texans in their struggle with drought.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Roy Sylvan Dunn, "Drought in West Texas, 1890–1894," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 37 (1961). W. C. Holden, "West Texas Droughts," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 32 (October 1928). Vance Johnson, Heaven's Tableland: The Dust Bowl Story (New York: Farrar, Straus, 1947). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. J. W. Williams, "A Statistical Study of the Drought of 1886," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 21 (1945).

Roy Sylvan Dunn

As we dream of the mercury falling and non-sweat-soaked clothes, we revisit this blog entry discussing historic means of keeping cool. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

You've donated an artifact...so what happens then?

A couple of years ago, we covered the artifact donation process...i.e. what to do if you have an item you would like considered for donation into our collection.

But if an item is accepted by our museum, what happens next?

So glad you asked!

Once we accept legal title to an item, we follow a detailed process of assessment, stabilization, record-keeping, and storage or exhibition. In layperson's terms, we check the item out, clean it up, assign it a number so we know where it came from, and decide where to put it.

The numbering process is as (if not more) important than the preservation aspect of museum work. If we don't have the artifact marked correctly, then we may not be able to associate it with its correct provenance (history and geography). This provenance is critical for passing long term information on to future visitors and museum professionals!

When an item is accepted into our collection, the first thing we do is make sure the donor fills out a deed of gift. This transfers legal title of the object to us, allowing us to care for it. We then assign the object an accession number, which allows us to track when the artifact entered our collection and what items came with it at the same time. For example, if Jane Doe donated 32 items at the same time, these items would all be considered one accession. If Jane donated two items in one year, and two items in the next year, they would be considered two separate accessions.

Confused? Just think of the word accession as meaning "batch."

From the accession or "batch," comes a more specific number called the catalog number. When an artifact is catalogued, it is more thoroughly assessed and each item within the accession is given a unique number to distinguish it from its "batch-mates."

Most museums follow a three or four part numbering system that tells you a lot about the item just by looking at the number. The first number is typically the year the item was accessioned, the second number is the number of the accession within that year, and the third number denotes the item number within that accession. For example, if Jane donates her 32 items in 2011, and her items were the third batch donated that year (Tom Jones and Sue Blue got there before her), one of her items' catalogue numbers might be 2011.3.12. This number serves as a unique identifier, much like a Social Security number.

Here at the Village we use a slightly different system replacing the second number in the series with a donor number. In this case, each donor is given a unique number relative to the overall number of donors we have. If Jane was the 546 donor we'd ever had, then one of her items donated in 2011 might have a number that looks like 2011.546.12. This only becomes an issue if Jane donates more than one accession/batch of items in 2011. In that case, careful record-keeping can help distinguish the timing of each donation.

Still with me?

Our brave curatorial/collections ancestors had to keep track of every museum item through a series of printed pages, card catalogues, and eventually primitive databases. Thankfully NOW we can rely on sophisticated museum management software that allows us to include artifact photos and detailed records that are available at the click of a mouse. We still have to keep backups of our records (CDs stored off-site and printed copies in a binder), but the ease with which we can locate our items is amazing.

The computer records are worthless, however, if we cannot match them with a specific artifact. Since we've already determined what the item's unique number will be when we catalogued it, we need to make sure this number is directly, visibly, and physically associated with each item. Museums adhere to the principle of reversibility when dealing with artifacts. This means that any action we take MUST BE REVERSIBLE. While early and well-intentioned folks may have marked their collections with Sharpie marker, this practice is NOT appropriate with current standards.

Depending on the item, its physical properties, and the quality/sensitivity of its material (wood, cotton, glass, metal), it can be marked a number of ways. Most items here at the Village are marked using a "painted" number. A barrier layer of B-72 is applied, the catalog number is applied with white or black fluid acrylic, and the number is "sealed" with a topcoat of medium gloss. This combo can be dissolved in acetone should the number need to be removed (reversibility). Catalogue number placement is also important. The number should be legible and positioned where it can be easily located by a collections staff member but can be somewhat concealed while on exhibit (i.e. inside the rim of a cast iron dutch oven). It does, however, need to be placed where it won't easily be rubbed off over time (i.e. not on the bottom of a cast iron dutch oven). Other methods for marking items include sewing a Tyvek label inside/on textiles and tags made from inert paper and material.

Once the item is marked, it is then fully entered into our collections database. We use PastPerfect, but there are a number of options from which a museum can choose. The database is where we enter all donor and provenance information. And even though we have carefully marked each item, we record other identifying information such as dimensions, materials, maker's marks, etc. This information aids in identifying objects should the numbers become illegible or separated from the artifact.

We also complete a "condition report" on each item. This allows us to note damage, irregularities, and, as the name implies, overall condition so that we can determine how an item is faring while on exhibit or in storage. This helps ensure that we are caring for each and every artifact in the best way possible! Condition reports are completed at the time of each donation and then periodically throughout the item's lifespan. At this point, we can also recommend what action can or should be taken to prolong the life of the artifact (i.e. remove dust, apply protective artifact wax, seek professional help from a conservator, remove item from exhibit).

This just a small taste of what goes into processing an artifact donation. Other steps include item research (to flesh out provenance), creating storage or exhibit mounts, and educating our historical interpreters about the new items they may be telling visitors about!

Correct accession and cataloguing procedures, while time-consuming and labor intensive, are truly rewarding and satisfying. They enable us to give an object "life" and meaning. They allow to us to locate a family treasure within minutes instead of months. They ensure that each artifact's story will be able to be told for generations to come. And that's a pretty great trade-off, if you ask me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Upcoming events at Log Cabin Village...

Wow! What a great fall line-up! Mark your calendars...it wouldn't be the same without you!

Please note: The Village will be closed for maintenance August 22-September 5, 2011.

September 18 & 24, October 2 & 15, 2011
1-4 p.m.
Come enjoy the delightful sounds of Buttermilk Junction, an Old-Time & Anglo-Celtic band, from right here in Fort Worth. They play and sing historical "Roots Music" - tunes and songs from frontier Texas of the mid to late 1800s. No reservations required. Cost is regular Village admission.

September 24, 2011
Noon-4 p.m.
Celebrate Smithsonian Museum Day and Fort Worth’s “Day in the District” at the Village! Enjoy a day full of music and living history for the whole family. Admission is FREE for this day only!

October 15, 2011
1-4 p.m.
Grab your pumpkins and shock your corn...it’s time for a good old-fashioned Frontier Fall Fest! You’ll be able to grind grain by hand, shell corn, thresh wheat, “bob” for apples, press tortillas and more. We’ll also have help celebrating the harvest with friends from the Greater Fort Worth Herb Society, Silversmyth Julie Hiltbrunner, Wyatt Earp dealing the card game Faro, Cooper Dan “Five Buckets” Tatum, and Buttermilk Junction Old Time String Band, just to name a few! Bring your own carved or painted pumpkin to enter our “best design” contest (judging at 3 p.m.) For a small additional fee, you can even make your own festive corn husk doll and/or copper bracelet to take home! Cost is regular Village admission plus $3 craft fee for corn husk doll and $5 craft fee for copper bracelet.

November 12, 2011
1-4 p.m.
Time to start thinking about those holiday cards! Come have your photos taken with our historic St. Nick! No reservations required. Cost is regular Village admission plus a $5 fee for photo and folder.

November 12, 13, 19, & 20, 2011
1-4 p.m.
It’s candle-making time! Come dip your own candles to take home. No reservations required. Cost is regular Village admission plus a $3 fee to dip candles.

December 17, 2011
1-4 p.m.
Enjoy holiday music, string popcorn and cranberries, spin the dreidel, help make pomander balls, tamales, paper chains, embossed cards, ornaments, and more! You can even have your photo taken with our historic St. Nick ($5 fee for photo and folder). No reservations required. Cost is regular Village admission plus a $2 craft fee to make a punched tin ornament.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chicken and cornbread and beans...oh my!

We had the best time at the "Whatcha Got Cooking?" daycamp this morning! Thanks so much to our "cast iron" chefs and the Village People for another great program!

Photos can be found on Facebook...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Cottage on Crestline Gets a Makeover...

Blog entry courtesy Kelli Pickard, Log Cabin Village and Van Zandt Cottage Director

The historic Van Zandt Cottage sits, unassuming, in a grove of trees on Crestline Road at the edge of Trinity Park. I like to think that the Cottage ponders its past as it gazes at its modern surroundings. It recalls the days in the 1860s that it was constructed of mortised timber framing with a raised wood framed floor. The days that the land on which it was constructed spread out roughly to what is now Montgomery Street to the west, 7th Street to the north, the river to the east, and I-30 to the south.

The land was owned by many people, but the A.G. Scoggin family bought it in 1866. The Cottage was part of the land purchase started by Major K.M. Van Zandt in 1869. The Van Zandt family lived in the Cottage from around 1872 until 1878 when they moved to a larger residence on the corner of Penn Street and Johnson Avenue. The Van Zandt family retained ownership of the home until 1936.

The City of Fort Worth purchased the Cottage along with most of the current Cultural District from the K.M. Van Zandt Land Company on March 6, 1936 for $150,000 in connection with the construction of the Will Rogers Memorial Center and the Frontier Center for the Texas Centennial. The home was then restored by and placed under the guardianship of the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (who withdrew their support shortly after the restoration to focus on the Alamo).

The Ethel N. Nichols – Van Zandt Cottage Foundation contracted with the City of Fort Worth from 1965 to 1996 to care for the home. On September 16, 1996, the maintenance, preservation and management of the Cottage reverted back to the Parks and Community Services Department under the care of the staff at Log Cabin Village since the Cottage is a 19th century structure.

On November 21, 2000, the Parks and Community Services Advisory Board endorsed the Master Plan for the Van Zandt Cottage, the oldest home in Fort Worth still on its original foundation and a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. The adopted Master Plan included construction of an office with a separate climate/humidity-controlled storage area for artifacts and a handicapped accessible restroom; accessible flagstone walkways and parking area; removal of post-1936 restroom; and, total restoration of the 1850s era cottage.

Some of the early achievements of the Master Plan were: Phase I - the construction of an exterior restroom and storage facility on the grounds along with accessible walkway and parking area (May 2002); Phase II - the removal of the mid-1900s era restroom on the back of the Cottage (February 2003); Phase III - the removal of small artifacts (April 2003); Phase IV - exterior cleaned and painted; shutters and chimneys repaired; rear porch constructed (all in April 2004); and the completion of a restoration plan (March 2005).

With funding from the Van Zandt Cottage Trust Fund, established by donations from the dissolved Ethel N. Nichols - Van Zandt Cottage Foundation and continuing individual contributions, a Restoration Plan was commissioned with Arthur Weinman Architects in 2005. The results of this plan were a comprehensive internal and external examination of the condition and history of the 19th century home.

The Restoration Plan was shared with the Board of Directors of the Van Zandt Cottage Friends, a non-profit 501(c)(3) established in November 2004, at their March 5, 2005, Board meeting. The plan for the Cottage was then approved by the Parks and Community Services Advisory Board on July 19, 2005.

Once the Friends formed, the City of Fort Worth and the Cottage had a partner in preservation and fundraising. A key element of the Restoration Plan was finally achieved – the stabilization of the historic foundation. This started Phase V of the master plan. In the summer of 2007, the entire house was raised, and a perimeter beam foundation placed underneath the historic log beam foundation. The Cottage was now stable enough to start tackling the rest of its restoration needs.

The restoration process is progressing now from the outside-in. By working first on the protective exterior shell, we can then move to the inside and work on more cosmetic issues such as trim, wallpaper and painting. The Friends of the Cottage have recently funded the restoration of the Cottage windows (May-June 2011). This process is almost complete and will be followed immediately by repair work on the front door and restoration of the shutters. The Van Zandt Cottage serves as an excellent example of the importance of partnerships, preservation, and stewardship of our historic resources.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Upcoming events...

May 13, 2011
10-11 a.m.
Featured story: My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston. $4 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).

May 13, 2011
11 a.m.-noon
Note: this storytime is especially for our deaf and hearing impaired visitors.
Featured story: Going West by Laura Ingalls Wilder. $4 fee includes a story, fun activities, and a craft, all geared towards 3-7 year olds. Please call 817-392-5881 to make your reservation (required).

May 13-14, 2011
It’s time for us to help show life on the homefront! During this free, two-day heritage event, the Stockyards National Historic District is transformed into an authentic representation of Texas frontier life, and we’ll have interpreters there to help tell the story. We’ll still be here at the Village, too, though...so come visit us either place!

May 15, 2011
1-4 p.m.
Come enjoy the delightful sounds of Buttermilk Junction , an Old-Time & Anglo-Celtic band, from right here in Fort Worth. They play and sing historical "Roots Music" - tunes and songs from frontier Texas of the mid to late 1800s. No reservations required. Cost is regular Village admission.

June 9, 2011
9 a.m.-noon
How did people cook food before electric/gas stoves and microwaves? They mixed a pinch of skill, a dash of creativity, and a liberal serving of patience, and came up with delicious recipes to satisfy their whole family! Participants for this camp will learn a bit about 19th century food preparation and prepare a meal of their own with fellow campers! $15 admission includes materials, snack, and recipes to take home. Reservations required by June 2. Camp is for children going into 4th-8th grade. Download registration form here.

June 10, 15, or 22, 2011 (pick one only)
9 a.m.-noon
Be a 19th century Texan for a day! Wagons West is a program of hands-on activities recreating elements of a typical school-age child's day. The children wash clothes using a washboard and lye soap, card wool, grind corn by hand and weave on a child's scale loom. This popular group program is open for individuals on these three days only! $15 admission includes materials and a snack. Reservations required one week prior. Program is for children going into 1st--6th grade.
Download registration form here.

June 16, 2011
9 a.m.-noon
If you’re wondering what tools helped build the frontier, then this camp is for you! Join our skilled woodworker as he introduces basic 19th century woodworking techniques and helps campers complete a project of their own! $15 admission includes materials and a snack. Reservations required by June 9. Camp is for children going into 4th-8th grade. Download registration form here.

July and August 2011
While we will be open and providing daily demonstrations of frontier life, no special events will be offered in July and August. Stay tuned for our exciting fall line up!

August 23-September 5, 2011
Log Cabin Village will close for maintenance during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The importance of roots...

Here at the Village, we're in the business of the past. We learn the past, we teach the past, we demonstrate the past, we live the past. Looking at the roots of our history and ancestors is something we do on a daily basis without even thinking about it. And the roots run deep.

Trees are something we also think about on a daily basis. We're surrounded by them. Our buildings are made from them. They shade us, protect us, and provide homes for the many animals we share our acreage with. Their roots run deep as well.

But occasionally, despite history and time, those roots fail. Particularly when large trees in dry soil are faced with wind gusts up to 60 mph, as happened this past April 15. It's been a windy spring, but by and large we've fared well in the weather with only a few downed limbs. Even our trees with their deep roots, however, are not immune to exceptional winds.

We're fortunate that the large tree that blew over only took out part of our fence line along University Drive and not a cabin or something more serious. And less than two weeks later, our fence is repaired (new!) and the Village continues in the business of historical rather than arboral roots.

Please find a photo slideshow of the exciting process embedded. Click on the slideshow to make it larger and/or to control the speed. The photos and captions tell the whole story.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Every day was Earth Day on the frontier!

Happy Earth Day, y'all!!! In honor of this special day, I'm "recycling" a post I did a few years ago about our "green" ancestors...

Please also remember that you can always find out more information about ways to protect Mother Earth (and our fair city) at Keep Fort Worth beautiful...

Enjoy your day and weekend! And remember...we'll be at Prairie Fest tomorrow, April 23, (but still open here on site as well)...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Goodies in our museum store!

Greetings, Village People!

This story will be primarily told with pictures. And if a picture's worth a thousand words, then get ready for a whole lotta photographic talking! We are very excited to be able to feature several new items in our museum store. Some of them are bought from other distributors, but much of our new merchandise is made by our talented historical interpreters right here on site! And so, without further ado, we present, "what's new in the Village store."

We love, love, love these little ladies. These clothespin dolls are handmade by Dallas Heritage Village volunteer Barbara. They generously allow us to purchase quantities of these beauties to sell to our Village "westside" visitors.

We mentioned these adorable sweeties recently. They are currently handmade on site by historical interpreters Kessy, Jeanie, Teresa, Marcela, and Linda. We hope to have a couple more in stock very soon! Stay tuned...

While we don't produce these on site, we just thought they were a darned good item to have on hand. The stickers are removable so you can decorate your cabin again and again. Uh...what I meant, of course, is that your CHILD can decorate his/her cabin again and again. Because I would never play with a kid's toy. Ever. If you'll excuse me, I need to go move Pa near the door in case coyotes are approaching.

Yarn dolls. We carry them. We love them. These are a longtime popular item here at the Village, and historical interpreter Marilyn handmakes each one with care.

Again...not produced on site...but aren't these patches COOL? Good for Scouts, Campfire kids, Y-Guides, or anyone else who wants to show their Village spirit. We saw Taffy the cat sporting one recently.

Rag dolls...so simple...so elegant...so "Little House." Handmade on site by historical interpreter Teresa.

The ever popular corn husk dolls! We have a variety of styles, each carefully handmade on site by historical interpreter Linda. We think this mother and child doll is beautiful.

These just knock our socks off. Who knew historical interpreter Fred was such a great artist! These are one-of-a-kind pencil sketches of Village structures, created here on site. What else can we say...the cabins like to pose!

We feature scarves handmade by historical interpreters Debi and Marilyn. We couldn't help but show you this precious child's scarf/hat combo that Debi finished recently, though. Warm...fashionable...made by a Village person...for YOU.

We also feature items made by Village blacksmiths Michael, Steven, and Jeanie...as well as fine woodworked items from Steven and David (items available vary according to materials and time to complete). And Terry, Fred, and Teresa keep us well-stocked with fresh-ground cornmeal!

New items are produced daily...so come check out all their hard work!