BELPRE - Community members and volunteers filled the Belpre Farmers' Castle Museum on Saturday for the sixth annual Heritage Day.
"We try to show people the new things the museum has and, hopefully, they will learn about the area's history," said Nancy Sams, president of the Belpre Historical Society, which operates the museum.
One new thing this year was generously donated by the Goldsberry family of Marietta.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Josiah Goldsberry, 11, of Marietta, gives a program on the Underground Railroad with his brothers – Jeremiah, 7, Dakota, 15, and Caleb, 12 – at the Belpre Historical Society Farmers’ Castle Museum on Saturday during the sixth annual Heritage Day.
"Last year the boys met with Henry Burke and learned about the Underground Railroad throughout the area and their goal is to help people and the kids in the area know what has happened before," said Debby Goldsberry, their mother. "As Caleb said, if we don't know our history, we are bound to repeat it."
During the event, Jeremiah Goldsberry, 7, Josiah Goldsberry, 11, Dakota Goldsberry, 15, and Caleb Goldsberry, 12, presented different aspects of the Underground Railroad in the back room of the museum, where Burke's work is on display with the museum.
"They learned a tremendous amount from Mr. Burke and after he passed away we felt a burning desire to continue his life's work," said Debby Goldsberry.
The Goldsberry boys are homeschooled and did the program, which focused on the slave trade, local homes used in the Underground Railroad, and how runaway slaves were hidden in houses, as part of the Home Harvest 4-H Club.
"I would not be surprised if the boys decided to continue to do this next year," Debby Goldsberry said.
Sams said she was pleased with the Goldberry family's participation.
"It's great that they wanted to do this and to be so involved," she said. "It's almost like Henry passed the torch."
The one-day event began six years ago as a way for the organization to bring people into the Farmers' Castle Museum Education Center on Ridge Street after local schools started a new year.
"It's a time for us to open our doors and allow the community members of all ages to see what we have to offer," Sams said.
The event is used to teach people about the heritage of the Mid-Ohio Valley, such as tapestry weaving, yarn spinning and the Underground Railroad. The event also included blacksmith demonstrations by Dan Hinton in the blacksmith shop behind the museum, chair caning, yarn spinning, weaving and quilting and Appalachian culture.
The day began with a flag raising ceremony by the Sons of Union Veterans Fearing Camp and the Belpre American Legion Post 495.
"In keeping with heritage, the flag was handed from the Sons of Union Veterans to the American Legion to raise," Sams said. "By learning about our history, we learn about ourselves."
In September, the museum volunteers announced plans to construct a 50-by-50-foot addition to the current facility. The Heritage Day event also allowed community members to donate to these plans.
The total project is expected to be $236,000 with a goal to raise $175,000 by the end of January 2013. Groundbreaking could be in the spring.