She said occasionally she got questions from kids like, "Where's the microwave?" or "How come there is no TV?"
The best question she heard on Friday, when school groups visited the festival, was "What is in this cabin that we don't use in modern homes?"
Vegetation as decoration
There was one iron bed that would have been shared by several members of the family. A large braided rug on the floor, and a couple of chairs with hand-woven bottoms. Above the fireplace there were bittersweet, oregano and yarrow herbs drying. In every corner there was an arrangement of evergreens, miniature gourds and okra gathered from the wild. Ellis said that it was common-place for people to decorate with vegetation from their property or the woods.
These things could probably be found in today's home, but there were some things in the cabin that wouldn't.
The fireplace pothanger, for example, or a dipper gourd used to take a drink of water are items that have disappeared from modern life.
Like most of the exhibits at the festival, there was a written history nearby for people to read.
The cabin was built by the Weller family, early German immigrants, in the 1790s somewhere in Nelson County. Some Wellers still live in that area.
Originally the cabin was two-story, but the loft was taken out when it was reconstructed at the Forkland Community Center in the 1970s.
The hand-hewn shingles were made by Clarence Westerfield, and the shingles' wood was prepared by Darrell and Hubert Ellis. Some architectural material, logs and fireplace rocks, came from old farm buildings in the Forkland area.
The stone steps were originally the steps at the old science building on Centre College's campus. The cabin is made from poplar and the floor was stained with linseed oil and walnut. Jimmy Overstreet made the door hinges, latches and the fireplace pothanger.
Jewell Deene Ellis' father, Cecil, did a lot of work on the cabin.
"Everyone is so busy today, with such hectic lives," she said. "It's nice to take awhile and think about the past."