By Joseph Pratt
Pioneer Village will be hosting its annual Labor Day celebration known as Old Fashioned Days this weekend. The event is dedicated to take the community back to the pioneer days, when bread was cooked in clay ovens and Facebook hadn’t been founded yet.
Old Fashioned Days will have a plethora of events to keep guests happy and preoccupied, from serving home-cooked meals to showcasing examples of classic smithery.
Local blacksmith and Pioneer Village Committee Member Lucas Jenkins will be at the event, discussing his trade and his love of Pioneer Village. Jenkins has grasped onto the concept enthusiastically and even recently built a clay oven within one of the cabins. He has tested his oven out by baking a pizza, which turned out to be a success. He will be serving a classic bread baked in the oven.
Jenkins will also be raffling off various items he has crafted, items such as knives and a tomahawk.
The Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland will be at the event as well. The Boy Scouts have been working on gathering supplies for their meal of beans and cornbread. The Girl Scouts plan on contributing with freshly baked cookies.
Guests can expect entertainment from local musician Steve Free at 11 a.m., as well as other talent to follow throughout the day.
Guests will also be able to enjoy the many displays of arts and crafts from many Appalachian artists that will be present.
In-between events, visitors will also have the opportunity to walk around the Wheelersburg Flea Market, which will be ongoing the entire day.
This year’s Old Fashioned Days event will be raising money for repairs on the cabins on the property. Pioneer Village Committee Member Connie Ison explained that the organization is looking to make the cabins more available to the public. To do so, some roofing will need to be updated and indoor plumbing will need to be added.
“We are all excited about it,” Ison said. “We are trying to raise money for these log cabins. Mr. Litteral’s [Ed Litteral, founder of Pioneer Village] dream was to see that the cabins would be used for the community, but he passed away in the 1970’s. The log cabins have not been used since, other than on labor day.”
Ison explained that the founder’s son, Bob Litteral, is a missionary and isn’t currently in the States, but has shown full support to the cause.
If updated, the cabins would offer a unique touch to the Wheelersburg area. Ison said that any event housed in the cabins would also be free.
“We’re trying to restore the cabins so that people in the community can use them for meetings, weddings, and reunions,” Ison explained. “Even the Girl and Boy Scouts could use them to experience the pioneer life and camp out.”
Ison said she has been working alongside many volunteers in restoring the cabins and the property, but the future of it all is dependent on funding.
“We’ve done lots and lots of work out there. I think people will be surprised to see all that has been accomplished,” Ison said. “We are just trying to raise money for the larger thing at this point.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.