Colonies reappear in Pember event

By Rob McGuire

The calendar said it was Oct. 13, but from the look of things, it could have been a day in the life of a brilliant autumn Saturday in 1772. There were corn huskers and flour grinders, wool spinners and sewers, livestock, harvests of honey, herbs, seeds, and pelts, cooking and baking, music and even a tinsmith.

“There were no machines to manufacture what was needed. Everything was done by hand and nothing was thrown away,” said master tinsmith Walter Fleming, from behind a table full of his created objects on the ground floor of the historic 1780 Kalb/Butler homestead.

The house was buzzing with activity on both levels, and upstairs the Loadwicks were applying the same principles of recycling in their handmade dresses and dolls. Meanwhile, in a warm spot by the blazing open hearth in the next room, Richard Phillips was at his finest as he serenaded old Scottish ballads on his newly fretted vintage instrument. “He is wonderful!” people were saying.

Granville town historian Edith Sparling prepared an extensive history on the house and early agricultural industries in Washington County. Many people do not know that New York State was the leading state in cheese and cheese box manufacturing in the 1800s.

The tables outside were stacked with plants and herbs, pelts, honey and flour, cornbread and freshly baked pies. Tomm Forgacs, a Pember volunteer, answered questions on trapping and tanning as visitors marveled at the museum’s collection of rare pelts and pelt goods.

The event raised $431 to help The Pember in its budget crisis to maintain its current level of service

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