Harkening back to frontier life

Photo by William Woody—Andy Richmart, left and 13-year-old Connor Meredith, heat up metal to make a variety of creations in the blacksmithing exhibit Saturday during Heritage Day at Cross Orchards museum.

Hard work, traditional living and ingenuity, ingredients for life in the Grand Valley 100 years ago, were explored Saturday as part of Heritage Days at Cross Orchards Museum.

Wool spinning, blacksmithing, soap making, honey production and leather braiding were crucial skills during settlement days.

“People, they go to Wal-Mart or these big box stores to get just about anything. You don’t realize people braided ropes or made soaps,” said Kay Fiegel, assistant director of the Museum of Western Colorado. “Travel back about 100 years, and that’s what we’re celebrating.

For 6-year-old Mallory Cawood and her 8-year-old sister, Madeleine, exploring the exhibits with their grandmother, Jo Cornforth, was a fun way to spend time and eat cookies.

“I liked the goat,” Mallory said.

“My favorite thing so far would have to be the honey bees,” Madeleine said.

The grounds of Cross Orchards sit on what was once an expansive apple orchard, and many of the existing buildings now serve as educational and historical exhibits.

“I love everything about this place,” Cornforth said.

The museum holds many similar events throughout the year. The dates and times for those exhibits are listed on the Museum of Western Colorado’s website, http://www.museumofwesternco.com.


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