Saturday, March 19, 2011

Daniel Boone Homestead

The second Sunday in March is celebrated in Pennsylvania as Charter Day which is technically March 4th.  It is the day in 1681 that King Charles II granted William Penn the land which became Pennsylvania.
On the second Sunday all the Pennsylvania Heritage Sites have free admission and usually have some sort historical type events going on.
We decided to go back to the Daniel Boone Homestead this past Sunday for their Charter Day festivities.
Boone's family only lived here until he was 16 but it may have been the place he lived the longest since he was always on the move after that.  It is a beautiful 579 acre preserve with lots of walking paths and historical buildings on the land.
It was a little chilly and I felt bad for this drummer who greeted us and had to stand on the top of the hill in the wind.
The ladies in the kitchen had it better with a nice warm fire.
Here they are preparing a "Make-Do Sunday Dinner".   This is a meal that consisted of whatever was left over in the root cellar from the previous year before anything had started growing in the gardens.
The girls were eyeing up those corn biscuits.  They looked so yummy frying on the pan over the fire.

We also enjoyed listening to this man (who Grace thought looked like Ben Franklin) play some old tunes on the fiddle and a couple other flute type instruments.

 One of the interesting things that we were able to see was an old water powered sawmill in operation.  I think they only run this one a couple times a year.
Here was the "sawyer" explaining the history and workings of the sawmill.
Letting the water through the wheel to power the saw.
Freshly cut boards.
The saw working away.
It looked pretty slow compared with the power tools of today but it was mighty fast back then compared with hand sawing.

There were a lot more stations then we expected and quite a number of volunteers. 
They did a good job looking authentic even on their breaks.

This guy was explaining all about the different types of guns and artillery.

A demonstration of a musket shoot.

A genuine Pennsylvania rifle.

When we asked the kids what their favorite station was we all agreed the it was the blacksmith shop.  Grace said that when she gets old she want to volunteer as a blacksmith.  I am not sure why but we did enjoy watching the fire be pumped with the huge bellows in the back and this man working on a tool.

And I must say that this guy was my favorite "character" of the day.  :)  He was the bellows pumper for the blacksmith.  Doesn't he look absolutely thrilled?!

If you live in the area and get a chance, check this place out.  They are having a children's day on May 1st which we plan on going to as well with sheep shearing and crafts.  It is a beautiful property and should be gorgeous in the spring.


  1. Ah, good memories. The girls and I have enjoyed many local events like these. They make history real!

  2. With all the historical sites you are visiting with the children, you really don't need to go to Williamsburg. Although that is a much bigger scale and very worth while. You would need more than one day to see all that is in Williamsburg, VA.

  3. What a great "field trip".

    You have so much more "history" on the east coast, than we have over here in the west.

    Hope your weekend is blessed!

  4. Wish we could have gone! Isaiah would have certainly enjoyed it. He's been learning about Daniel Boone this year. That guy in the last picture cracked me up!

  5. What a great day!! Thanks for sharing it.

  6. I have never been to Daniel Boone's Homestead - looks like fun.

    In the first picture of the drummer... was that a group of Conservative Mennonites walking down that path? They just caught my eye. :)

  7. Bev,
    Wow! Good eye! Yes that was a group of Mennonites that were there. :)

    I was thinking the same thing. Williamsburg is pretty expensive from what I hear too. I especially don't think it is worth it when the kids are still little anyway. They would be totally worn out.


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