Celebrate the trades this Labor Day weekend 1850s-style at the Land Between the Lakes Homeplace Trades Fair on the Farm, highlighting skills from chairmaking, salt extracting, spinning and more. Lead Homeplace Interpreter Cindy Earls joins Kate Lochte on Sounds Good with all the details and some insight into what life was like in 1850s Stewart County, Tennessee.
Life in 1850s Stewart County
Using period documents and the 1850 Stewart County census, Homeplace interpreters learned that the region was booming during the Industrial Revolution. Steamboats went up and down the rivers, a thriving iron industry made pig iron to be melted and processed into boilers for steam engines to cookware like kettles and skillets.
In 1850, everyday goods couldn't be purchased in a single store and likely weren't made in factories, so skilled craftsmen and artisans filled out the communities. Earls says interpreters identified 36 skills from the census records, including wagon makers, tailors, dressmakers, saddlers, boatmen, farmers and preachers. The iron industry also brought skills like nailers, refiners, forgemen blacksmiths/mechanics and engineers.
The Homeplace Trades Fair
August 30 and 31 from 10 to 4
People from across the community bring trades handed down over generations to The Homeplace for demonstrations and for sale. Earls says she hopes people watching the trades might be inspired to pick one up as a hobby to keep the "lost" folk art tradition alive.
Trades featured at the fair:
- Baker with old-time recipes
- Dress Maker
- Chair Maker
- Country Store with fudge and soda (considered medicine in 1850)
- Early American Indian Pottery
- Salt Maker - how to extract salt
- Sketch Artist - using 19th Century art supplies
- Woodworking - demonstrating mandolin making
- Apiarist - making honey and candles (Sunday only)
- Tatted Lace Making
- Spinning sheep wool
- Hooking rugs
- Knitting and Crocheting with fine hand knit
- Log Hewing
- 19th Century Writing Class - back to school!