September 27-28, 2014
In less than a week the LSU Rural Life Museum will hold the 19th annual Harvest Days Festival in Baton Rouge, LA. The Festival consist of dozens of 18th & 19th Century Craftsmen that will be busily working in their respective trades of Black Smithing, Timber Felling and Hewing, Pit Sawing, Timber Framing and Log Home Building, Traditional Pirougue Building, Traditional Bow and Arrow Making, Soap Making, Candle Making, Open Hearth Cooking, Cane Crushing and Syrup Making, Old Time Children's Games, as well as several other trades, crafts and pastimes.
We all know the grandeur portrayed in movies such as Gone With the Wind but those were only a small faction of the population of the charming South - most lived much simpler lives. The LSU Rural Life Museum is dedicated to those early settlers, slaves, farmers, tradesmen and plain country folk of old Louisiana.
All of the demonstrators are experts in their field and are looking forward to sharing history, telling you stories of what the past was like for your ancestors and answering any questions you may have.
The Rural Life Museum is home to the largest existing collection of Vernacular Louisiana Structures, an impressive display of Lower Delta French Furnishings, the most extensive collection of Material Culture items from 18th & 19th Century Rural Louisiana and was placed in the Top 10 Outdoor Museums in the World by the British Museum.
Visiting the Rural Life Museum truly is a step back in time and on no week-end more so than this one.
I, of course, will be demonstrating Lumbering, Hewing, Pit Sawing, Log Cabbin Building, and Shingle Making. I will also be speaking at length about 18th Century immigration to Louisiana particularly to the German Coast.
John Blokker, an accomplished Timber Framer and Historic Preservationist, will be demonstrating Timber Frame Building and will be constructing large Norman Trusses just as they were historically. He will surely speak, with his own unique flair, on whatever related topics come to mind. I have it on good authority he will also be showing a bit of his collection of early Gulf Coast red bricks that were hand made from the banks of the Mississippi and each with their own special characteristics.
Ray McCon, an experienced traditional woodworker and bow builder, will be there with his travelling shave horse and various hand tools to wow you all with his boyer (bow building) skills and talk about the history of bow building and it's uses by various cultures.
As noted above there are many many craftsmen all worthy of note but I think you get the idea.
Come on down and visit! The museum can comfortably handle a couple thousand visitors at any given time and we will see 5-7 thousand guests over the week-end. If you prefer to avoid crowds I suggest coming early Saturday morning or late Sunday Afternoon. We will be open from 8am to 5pm both Sat & Sun.
Sept 27th & 28th, 2014
8:00 am to 5:00 pm each day
Regular Museum admission charged.
LSU Rural Life Museum
4560 Essen Ln.
Baton Rouge, LA