Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cold Christmas in Missouri-1855

Yesterday I took my granddaughter to Missouri Town 1855. It was cold and windy, but I think it really impressed her. The cold actually told the story. Not only did she get to see and hear history, but she got to feel it.
The homes were drafty, with simple decorations. Pine cones, a handmade wreath, trees cut from the nearby woods, and homemade candles. The scenes were simple...not loaded with stuff.
It was fun to show her the differences from "yesterday".
No electricity, no running water, no heat, no air conditioning, no computers, no tv, no microwave, curling iron, no washing machines, no dryers, no refrigerators, no phones...the list went on and on.
It was really cold, so she was told of how they would warm the homes, and how the bedrooms usually stayed cold and she could feel the drafts...We got to see typical presents given at Christmastime, 1855.
She was told that normally only one gift was given, not a mountain of presents. The gifts were normally light, so they could be simply left hanging on the tree and of course they were handmade. Oooh and how an apple or orange could be "the" gift.

In this room they were making spiced cider in a large pot hanging in the fireplace.
She got to smell the different herbs that were hanging in the kitchen area. We looked around at the kitchen gadgets of that time, like a tin container hanging high on the wall. It was to hold candles, high enough that mice couldn't get to it.
To be honest, I really don't know how they did it???
In this barn, they explained how the nearest town was eight miles away, the horse could go about eight miles per hour...so after feeding, brushing, harnessing, they would head for town. About an hour or so later, they would arrive in town, get their shopping done and supplies loaded and head home. Once home, they unloaded, then brushed and fed the horse, then ate and went to bed...quite a Saturday!!!
Bed??? she asked? Why so early?
It's dark!!!
No tv, and they were simply tired from an exhausting life.


Here she got to love on a short horned milking cow...
she was amazed to watch them pulling a cart and responding to "gee" which is a turn to the right and "haw" the command to turn to the left.



There were many other buildings, a tavern, a smokehouse, the blacksmith's shop and shed, a hog shed, barns, chicken coups, a church, outhouses and others.
There was a law office...we happened into this building and the man there was telling how he, as a living history actor, portrays a confederate soldier. She listened as he talked about the hostilities between Kansas and Missouri and some of the battles...Mine Creek is an example.
My granddaughter is only ten, but I watched as her eyes narrowed as she listened.
She is just starting to learn about the Civil War...she is biracial.
This is a part of history and we'll have to go there...
But, this will be another day...





11 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's good to learn about how people used to live and all the hardships they endured. Makes me glad I live today! I don't know how they did it either.

Tracy said...

Turquoise Moon,
You know, I'm sure I could have lived that life if I had to but I'm certainly glad I didn't have to. Can you imagine? We are more fortunate than we know for sure. I love the photos; how fun for you all to get that opportunity; cold or no cold...

turquoisemoon said...

Debra, I'm glad I live now...I feel that I've lived during the best of times.
Tracy, I think I could have done it too, however, I'm glad I live now. Those people were certainly hardy souls. History comes alive when I get this kind of opportunity. I often think about those times and those lives and the hardships. I really admire them...

Linda Starr said...

I could almost feel myself there from your description and what a great reminder that we do indeed have so much, especially tonight as the wind is howling down here something fierce. So wonderful that such a place exists where you can take your grandaughter and she can learn first hand how it was so many years ago for folks.

Linda Starr said...

I just found your costco post again and re-read it, much to think about and much to learn, thanks.

turquoisemoon said...

Linda, BF grew up on a farm in Ohio...he had real chores in the morning before school. (not just making a bed) He has a real low tolerance for the children of today. I think that education, rather than sarcasm, works..but who knows who is right???
I often wonder about that woman at Costco and other angry women...They must be real unhappy with their lives. I try real, real hard to think that way rather than attack back. But, it's harder than it sounds. :( I really struggle with this, but learning and trying...

Kittie Howard said...

What a great outing with your granddaughter! Those days look pretty and nostalgic, but I'm very happy with more amenities. I understand BF's low tolerance for some kids today, but I agree with you that education is key, like this experience.

Hey, when you have a chance, I've a little something for you at my place!

Jayne said...

Hello! I came by from Kittie's blog - pleased to 'meet' you. :)

This sounds like a lovely day out with your grand-daughter. How wonderful to introduce her to history like this, and I love that some places preserve a 'living' history for our modern eyes to see.

Out on the prairie said...

These were wood homes, many of the 1st were sod. Imagine the things that could burrow into your house.I enjoy these history sites. I helped build a few buildings at one not too far away.We need to look at the simple life more in depth, many of us have made our lives too complex, creating a number of problems and confusion.

The dogs are hilarious. I spoil all my pets, they give me attention and grief. I can't go in my kitchen without a parade following me, looking for handouts. My dog goes everywhere with me, even in this cold weather.

Congratulations on the award from Kittie Howard.

turquoisemoon said...

Kittie, Thank you for the award...I just hope I can figure out how to put it on my blog.

Jayne, Thanks for dropping by! It really was a fun day. We always try to have some kind of an adventure whenever she comes over.

Steve, Lately the word "simplify" has been appearing in my life...isn't it funny how themes show up and guide us??? No...I wouldn't like to go back and live in those times, but I think it is time to slow down and simplify. That would have been fun to actually build one of those sites. I do love going to them. Next year we're going to Fort Osage and a few other places I've found. Yes..dogs are hilarious. I feel that I'm being supervised by my furry friends.

MyShilohRanch said...

Love this place you visited. LOVE that you shared it with your granddaughter....yes, times were so much simpler ... not sure the work was actually harder ... just more physically intensive ... rather than mentally and emotionally. People had no problem sleeping ... did not need sleeping aids and tranquilizers. It is my belief that with "leisure time" came many evils that have eroded our families and our nation. Leisure time, these days, is really only fractionally restful and/or enjoyable...and certainly not usually economical! Yes, I am also thankful for many of our modern amenities ... like lighting and indoor plumbing, cars, cameras ... and, oh yeah, the internet! ;D