Fall Festival Makes History Fun

With skies just dry enough to allow outdoor activities to take place, the Mattapoisett Historical Society’s Fall Festival got under way. The volunteers and members set up tables and stations where children of all ages could learn about Mattapoisett’s agricultural history and practice some of the old-fashioned labor intensive activities that produced applesauce, apple cider, and eat some treats prepared the old way.

There was vinegar pie and honest to goodness pound cake made from one pound of flour, one pound of sugar, one pound of butter, and one pound of eggs. Vinegar pie was made by people who had little access to lemons or other acidic fruits and was generally made as winter’s end wasn’t quite at hand, but the sweet tooth demanded a treat. Both were available for the gathered to enjoy along with freshly squeezed apple juice and applesauce.

Tom Copps was in charge of the apple press that was used to produce juice with the assistance of his two sons Lowell and Murray.

Katherine Gaudet, Vice President of the Society, said that this event was an opportunity for children to learn more about the agricultural history of Mattapoisett through simple, fun activities.

“We are showing them activities from 50 or 60 years ago,” Gaudet said.

And the kids were really getting into it. In spite of the low key non-electronic nature of the event, all the children were thoroughly engaged and wanting more.

The children were able to carve pumpkins, run the apple press, grind the apple grinder, and spin the apple peeler. They also got to make cornhusk dolls under the direction of museum curator, Elizabeth Hutchison.

“We’ve held this event about five times, and for the last three consecutive years,” said Jennifer McIntire, newly elected president. She noted that now that the museum has a curator whose sole focus can be the museum, they are able to do more activities and functions that engage the greater community.

Future events offered through the end of 2013 by the society are:

November 7: The Wanderer, a lecture by Seth Mendell, 7:00 pm

December 7: Holiday Season opener, 9:00 am to noon, toy train exhibit and shopping for unique gifts offered by the museum.

December 8: Caroling, 3:30 pm, adult and accompanied children; at the end, hot chocolate will be served at the museum

December 14: Museum open for holiday shopping and viewing toy train exhibit, 9:00 am to noon; opportunity to make a rope wreath for trees.

December 21: Museum open for holiday shopping and viewing toy train exhibit, 9:00 am to noon, and viewing vintage cartoons from Thirties, Forties, Fifties.

By Marilou Newell

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