Thursday, November 4, 2010

Harvest Days, Part II

Harvest Days at the Landis Valley Museum is the best traditional, hometown country fair I have ever attended.

Artisans in period costume showed patrons how things were made by ordinary people a century and a half ago.

It's a fantastic place to bring kids, where history walks and talks and shaves wood right in front of them.

Doug Shaw, who makes hayforks, rakes, scoops, ladles, and shovels, carved spoons at his shaving horse.

And Claire Garman, the on-site cabinetmaker, chatted with me in the woodworking shop.

As a young boy, Claire remembers visiting the Landis brothers on their farm and in the very woodworking shop where Claire volunteers today. "They were characters" he said of the brothers. "If they needed something, they just built it."

The Landis brothers were inventive, resourceful, and lifelong bachelors. And in 1925, they invited the public into their lives by turning their homestead into a museum.

During the two-day event, you can dance to live bluegrass music in the yellow barn and in front of the old hotel, eat homemade apple dumplings, ride in a horse-drawn wagon, watch pies and bread being baked in open hearths (and then sample them!) and tour the historic buildings on the 100-acre farm.

I can hardly wait until next year.


Dyami said...

Looks like a great fair, Kari. We may have to bring the kids next year.

Vic Hubbard said...

What a great area you live in for a rich history. I wish there were things like that around here.

Frontier Carpenter said...

Would love to see it. I have been researching iron work on conestoga wagons and came across the book "Conestoga Wagon-Masterpiece of the Blacksmith". It has a quite a few pictures of wagons at the Landis Museum. I need to get their!

The Village Carpenter said...

Dyami, your boys would love it. They even had a mini-maze for little kids that was made out of hay bales. Cute.

Vic, there's nowhere I'd rather live. We're very fortunate.

FC, I'm pretty sure that they have a Conestoga wagon in one of their large warehouse-type buildings. There is also one at the York Industrial and Agricultural Museum. I think you would really like that place, too.

Steve Branam said...

That's a pretty corner cabinet in the background of Claire's picture.

Gye Greene said...

Ooh! Nice workbench/workshop!

Candle-dipping: I always thought that was (traditionally) a gal thing, not a guy thing. (Am I mistaken?)


Gye Greene said...

Moonshine: I'm surprised that he even brought it out into the light of day: isn't distilling alcohol illegal?

(Maybe he claimed it was "non-functioning; for historical illustration purposes only". :)


Mr Bill said...


If you buy a small still and use it to distill water or extract essential oils by steam or water extraction methods, you are not subject to ATF requirements. If you produce essential oils by a solvent method and you get alcohol as a by-product of your process, ATF considers that distilling. Even though you are using and recovering purchased alcohol, you are separating the alcohol from a mixture -distilling.

It also varies depending on where you live.

The Village Carpenter said...

Steve, he had some miniature dovetailed blanket chests in the shop, too, that were pretty cool.

GG, I noticed that they guys sort of put their heads down when I pointed the camera at them, so I think you might be right! The moonshine guy didn't actually have it running, but it certainly looked to be in good working order.

Bill, sounds like you're speaking from experience. ; )