Shaker Village sets Harvest Homecoming

September 05, 2004

PLEASANT HILL - Shaker Village presents its Harvest Homecoming event Sept. 11-12.

In keeping with this nostalgic farm tradition, the two-day event features a quilt show, exhibitions of heirloom varieties of farm produce, seeds and flowers as well as heritage breeds of livestock. Village interpreters demonstrate agricultural activities that include apple butter, cider and tool making, and provide visitors with information on what 19th-century Kentucky was like.

Special guests demonstrating 19th-century trades will be Steve Ratterman, shoemaking; Dale Liles, flax processing; Elizabeth and Elwood Breeding, cider pressing; and Terry Sargent, historic beekeeping. Dale Culp, with his dog, Tiger, will demonstrate sheep herding.

The schedule also includes solo music performances in the 1820 Meeting House by the Shaker Village staff. Some 19th-century games will be available for the kids. Storyteller Marian Bauer will be on hand each day to delight and entertain the young and young at heart.


Most fairs, both of yesterday and today, included judging of domestic industries and arts including quilts. The Pleasant Hill Quilt Exposition, held in conjunction with Harvest Homecoming, will feature modern, handmade quilts as well as heirloom treasures.

Quilts will be judged in pieced, appliqud, cross stitch, full cloth, covers, wall hangings and beginners categories. There will also be a viewers' choice prize in the heirloom division. Entries in the handmade category must be of a 19th-century pattern. Heirloom quilts should be accompanied by a history, including the quilter's name, if known. Ribbons and prizes are awarded in several categories. This year's exposition will feature several quilts created at Pleasant Hill by Armatha Perkins in the 1970s and '80s, based on original Shaker gift drawings.

After visiting the quilt exhibition in the West Family Wash House, attendees are invited to visit the dining room of the Centre Family Dwelling, where a quilt will be set up. For a hands-on opportunity, attendees are encouraged to participate by sitting down and stitching for a few minutes.

A very special guided tour, "When I lived Here," will be conducted by one of the Interpreters who lived in the village after the Shakers were gone.

Categories and the number of exhibitors are expanding for the 2004 event. Michael and Bill Best, Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center, Berea, will judge heirloom vegetables, honey, fruits and flowers. Entries are open to the general public in two divisions, Youth Gardener, age 8-18, and Adult Gardeners. Exhibitors must grow their heirloom vegetables, fruits and flowers and meet the criteria in its class description. Awards include First Place and Best of Show in each category. Call today for entry forms.

Fair-goers also may have their images reproduced in silhouette by Nel and Helen Laughn, internationally-known silhouette cutters from Richmond, Va. Other special activities include shoemaking, blacksmithing and decorative tin ware.

The Harvest Homecoming weekend also will include a Shaker Genealogy Seminar, presentations by research staff on genealogical collections, access to Shaker journals and other village research materials, and special tours. This is a special opportunity for those who have ancestors who were Shakers.

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