Gift # 96: State Fair: Pioneer Village

 For today’s post I wanted to share some pics of what you get to see on display in the Pioneer Village at the State Fair.  This area is full of memories. It’s been part of the fair for 51 years.  What started as a motley collection of agricultural tools and artifacts from the pioneer days has turned into elaborate exhibits, a living history museum, and many, many buildings to browse through.  Generations of visitors have enjoyed this area and visited with bygone days here.  And here we remember the importance of agriculture in the lives of our ancestors and in the formation of the state.  We get a glimpse into what life was like for the people of the past, and what they cherished and valued. 

Sign hanging from the rafters of the pavilion

And this place is full of personal memories for me too.  My mom, brother, and I would come up to Indy during the summer with my grandparents when we were young to visit my uncle.   Several times we were able to visit the fair.  My strongest memories were of the pioneer village.  My grandfather loved to carve wood and watch the local artisans at their craft, and he loved to listen to the fiddle music and barn dancing that would be on stage.  I loved to watch the women weaving and demonstrating “chores” that are now “crafts” – churning butter, making candles, knitting, etc.  It was here that my mom bought my brother and I jaw harps and we tried in vain for months to get them to sound right.  It was here that I caught my first glimpse of wool yarn and knitting.  And my favorite memory of all is of Buckeye and Molly.  They were two women dressed as pioneers who interacted with guests and regaled them with their tales of the harrowing frontier.  I was fascinated with them (Molly wore a possum skin on her belt) and I spent lots of time with them.  Buckeye gave me a buckeye for luck when I finally had to say goodbye.  I’ve kept it to this day.  It is wonderful to go back to a place that never changes and be reunited with a past I’ll never see and with the family memories I’ve made here.

blessings to you,