Weston Colonial Craft Day
On Saturday, September 13, the Museums of Weston, located on Route 100, will host demonstrations of crafts and machinery from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Headlining the event will be a cooper and a weaver. The cooper makes round storage containers: barrels, buckets and tubs. Unlike the cabinet maker or the house wright, where measurements are crucial, the cooper works almost entirely by eye. The weaver will be demonstrating her skill on a restored 19th century loom, which is making only its second public appearance in decades – perhaps a century. Other crafts to be presented include quilting, 18th century baking techiniques, rug hooking, period costume making and more. Weston’s master tinsmith, David Claggett, will also be in residence.
Weston’s Old Mill has one of only a few working grist mills, with a restored water wheel, and an early 20th century engine, and a restored Lane shingle maker, which revolutionized the industry in 1907: in the early days, an individual using hand tools of the period could turn out some 50 shingles in a day; the Lane machine, with one operator and assistants, could produce 50,000. All will be in operation for the day. Available for inspection are an 18th century up-and-down saw, an early band saw, a 19th century lathe, a planer and a collection of tools that has been described as “the best in Vermont outside of Shelburne”.
The Farrar-Mansur House Museum has on display a remarkable collection of locally-sourced furniture and accessories from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including portraits, china, toys, samplers and more. Exhibits pertaining to the Weston CCC Camp will be found in the tavern room. The third museum on the campus, the Craft building, is usually home to the 1880 bandwagon used by the Weston Cornet Band for over 50 years and now restored. Weather permitting, the wagon will be moved outside for better display. On the second level of the Craft Building, weaving demonstrations will be given throughout the day on the restored loom as well as demonstrations of rug hooking.
The Museums of Weston are always worthy of a visit. September 13 will be a day to witness to the talents of folks skilled in numerous, largely bygone crafts. It will be a chance to learn, to enjoy and to spend time back in a quieter era. Demonstrations will take place between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The event has been organized and is hosted by the Weston Historical Society. Visit weston-vermont.com for more information.