A Pioneer Homecoming debuts May 19
by Marie Nesmith
May 10, 2012 | 1527 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Leslie Bronson demonstrates old-fashioned spinning. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, file
Leslie Bronson demonstrates old-fashioned spinning. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, file
As a demonstrator at A Pioneer Homecoming, Leslie Bronson is looking forward to showcasing the art of spinning yarn to curious onlookers. Presented by the Bartow History Museum, the event will occur May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"I will be spinning yarn on a spinning wheel, and I'll be showing the process of taking a raw fiber and turning it into yarn," said Bronson, a Cartersville resident. "And I'll probably have some knitting and some examples of weaving to show how to take the yarn to fabric.

"It's a very slow process. Pioneers would've had to have raised their fiber, be it sheep, wool, flax. So if it's [an] animal or the plant, they would have to raise the fiber, which could take easily a year, spin enough of the fiber into yarn and then weave, knit, crochet or whatever technique to make fabric. And if it was woven fabric, say for a shirt or a dress, it would then have to be cut and sewn into a garment."

At events like A Pioneer Homecoming, Bronson said her demonstrations often pique the interests of people of all ages.

"I enjoy meeting people and educating them about the way the people who settled this area lived or one skill that they would have had," Bronson said. "I think everyone's interested. I spin a lot of cotton and almost everybody I see has some garment made of cotton, whether it's blue jeans or T-shirts or socks.

"Everybody has something on that's made of cotton and then they get to see how it starts out as yarn. ... I really enjoy the process [of spinning yarn]. I like taking my yarn and making it into a final project but it's the process I enjoy -- the spinning, the knitting, the dying."

Planning to turn A Pioneer Homecoming into an annual offering, the Bartow History Museum's staff felt it was important to highlight the daily lives of people who resided in the region from 1820 to the 1850s.

"We're hoping that it becomes a yearly, educational event for families to take advantage of and to celebrate the pioneer history of Bartow County," said Charity Chastain, manager of programs for the Bartow History Museum. "We do so much with the Civil War and we do a lot with Cherokee life and legends, so we wanted to really bring pioneer life [to the forefront].

"And [we will] bring in a bunch of different demonstrators as well, so they could see all aspects of it, from butter churning to ice cream making to the spinning. The Etowah Valley Quilt Guild will be there showing hand embroidery and hand piecing. And then we will have Robert Jones, who does a lot of our lectures. He's a historian from Kennesaw. He's going to be playing music all day for the kids."

The majority of the event's offerings will be situated outside the museum and can be viewed free of charge. To tour the venue -- 4 E. Church St. in Cartersville, under the Church Street bridge -- and partake in the activities inside the museum, such as children's crafts, the discounted fee will be $4 for general admission. Children 5 and younger will be admitted at no charge.

For more information about A Pioneer Homecoming, contact the Bartow History Museum at 770-382-3818 ext. 6288 or visit www.bartowhistorymuseum.org.