April 28th SPEAKER
Outhouses – Len Marracini will discuss interesting and amusing facts regarding outhouses.
SPECIAL EVENT April 26th
On Saturday, April 26th there will be a program in the Log Cabin behind the Wright House it will be from 10am to 4pm. This is a dry run for the upcoming program that will begin to take place in September of 2015. We believe this event is one that we can work into a visiting school program and into a school or traveling program that highlights what really took place in trading posts during the mid 18th century.
Because of movies and television, most of us have a picture of what we think a primitive trading post might look like. Visions of shelves full of tradeable goods like calico cloth, tomahawks, knives, and boiled sweets lay side by side with smoked hams and unrecognizable jars and crocks full of salves and potions. All sorts of notions and goodies ready to be bought with a bear hide or beaver pelt. Truth is, in all but a few of these films and television shows nothing was correct.
Facts are that there was very little hard currency and when that showed up it was weighed and scrutinized for forgery. The currency of the day was conducted in trade and very little was traded for that was already had. Shelves were very rarely full and diversity was the rule of the day. For a trading post that the Wright family might have had, you could see things like bees wax, candles, cheese, maple cake sugar, and honey. Because of our research we know that one in fifteen people who lived in the area had bees and everybody didn’t have candles, honey, or wax.
These items were a definite commodity and very tradable. Bolts of calico cloth would actually be folded pieces of linen and wool cloth woven by local folks and stockings and made clothing would have been used and traded only when there was no body in the family who could wear them. Food items and whiskey would have been grown, distilled, and traded for then put up for sale. Being that the family had cows, butter and cheese would have been out for trade and any surplus grains or seed grown to feed stock would have been available for trade. Chickens raised for eggs would have been traded as well as chicks with roosters being held at a premium.
Hides and pelts would be traded for then sold to those who dealt specifically in that trade. Most folks don’t know that before the American Revolution, England was experiencing a bout with mad cow disease. Deer hides from the Americas replaced the leather taken from cows and the trade was booming. Beaver pelts and other small pelts were in demand and they all held good prices. Every trading post had a hide scale and every trader knew the going price for skins and furs.
This is what we want to portray in our trading post. We have spent a lot of time checking our facts and folks need to hear and see this history. Traders with pack animals not wagons loaded with goods were the norm on the frontier. Trade on paper and in ledgers was the rule of the day and hard currency was hardly ever seen If you have the time please stop in the cabin and see what’s for sale or trade, we will actually be trading so bring cash… or trade good.