The Butler County Historical Society has scheduled three fun and enjoyable morning sessions as part of a summer series of Saturday programs designed for children and their parents or grandparents. Each session will have something for everyone, young and the young at heart. All programs are free and open to the public. They will be held at the society’s Benninghofen House museum at 327 North Second Street, Hamilton, and begin at 9:30 a.m. and end before noon.
The first program on June 11 will provide a hands-on exploration of everyday chores of early pioneers. Plan on getting wet as you learn how laundry was cleaned using various pieces of equipment from the 1800s through the early 1900s. Learn all about corn bread as we explore how corn was grown, shelled, ground into meal and made into a tasty end product. We will also be making butter for the corn bread. All activities are planned as hands-on experiences and children and adults can spend as much time as they want since there is no set program. All activities will be held outside on the museum’s front lawn and side parking lot.
The July 9 program will focus on how pioneers made clothing during the 1800s. During this 9:30 to noon session we will be carding wool, spinning with both spinning wheels and drop spindles and explaining how weaving was done. We will also explore how pioneers used sorghum, a nearly magical plant that was used to sweeten food, ground for flour, popped like popcorn and made into brooms to clean up the home. Again, all activities are designed as hands-on experiences and there is no set program. In the case of poor weather, activities will be moved inside to the Emma Ritchie Auditorium.
The August 13 program will begin at 10:00 a.m. and presents the history and wonderful world of chocolate. Participants will discover where cocoa trees are grown, how chocolate is processed and trace the history of chocolate from the time of early explorers of the Americas up to today. A taste test of American Heritage Historic Chocolate will be conducted. Following the talk, we will spend some time learning games that were played by children in the 1800s.
Kathy Creighton, executive director of the historical society, said she expects children and their family members will have a good time again this year. “The kids, parents and grandparents that attended our summer programs last year really enjoyed them, especially the history of chocolate program. That is why we are repeating that one this year. We think the new everyday chores and clothing programs will also be excellent hands-on experiences and great fun for kids and adults to share.”
The Butler County Historical Society, located at 327 North Second Street, Hamilton, and its Benninghofen House museum is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Group tours of the Benninghofen House Museum can be arranged by calling 896-9930.