Students get hands-on history  lesson

Students were given the opportunity Friday to get a hands-on history lesson at Paintsville’s Mountain Homeplace during its second Appalachian Craft Days event.

This week the Mountain Homeplace Farm welcomed school groups and visitors for the second Appalachian Craft Days, which include all-day tours of everything the living museum and farm has to offer.

Mountain Homeplace Manager Russell Honeycutt said the Appalachian Craft Days evolved out of the Heritage Days celebration that used to be the farm’s annual fall event. As before, the focus of the event is getting to tour the farm and see live demonstrations of 19th century cooking and living.

“We do this once a year, and invite all the schools to come and see the processes of how we do things,” Honeycutt said. “Things like making apple butter, leatherwork, we have a woodworker out there today, a blacksmith and more.”

Students and visitors attending the Craft Days also got to see what school was like in a one-room schoolhouse, were able to tour an 1800s-style church, and met barn and farm animals. Attendees also got to sample the apple butter fresh from the fire-heated pot, and a hands-on opportunity to join in the efforts of old-fashioned Floyd County woodworker Terry Ratliff, including splitting a log using only wedges and a hammer.

Honeycutt said this autumn event is one of the best times to visit the farm, given the number of demonstrators performing and educating. 

“We’ve had an excellent turnout today,” Honeycutt said. “Hopefully every year it gets a little better.”

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