Have you ever looked around and seen everyday items and wondered how they got there or how they were created? Who thought up the idea in the first place? How do you get the answers to these questions? Of course there is the internet. You can find out just about everything you ever wanted to know there. You could ask a friend but most of the time they don't know either. Why not visit a museum? It is a great place to explore and ask all the questions you want. Usually it can be the starting point and can lead to opening up your world. Vist your local museum and start the journey.
Time Marches On!
How many times have you wondered if you were born in the wrong place and the wrong time? As I research history, I begin to get the feeling that I was really suited for another time and place. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy my life and would not trade it for anything, but then again, I do feel that if I had been living in the late 1800's in the West Virginia, I would have been a shop keeper or Peddler. So much of what we enjoy in live comes from the hands of other people. We go to the 'big box store' to buy the things we need without even thinking about where it comes from. If the tables were turned and we had to do it all ourselves, life would be much different. I am NOT a farmer so depending on others for my food is something I have always done. Growing up in a small 'mom and pop' store and selling things to others gave me a much better idea of what it was like to provide food and other items to people. We always had to make sure the goods were of the best quality and we always stood behind our products. While it was a single location, I am reminded of those early shop keepers and Peddlers who traveled across the mountains to provide items for others. How hard it was to travel and carry the items just made it harder. Once in a while I am reminded of that when I go into the local store and find items that are not quality and really should have not been sold. I think it reflects on the business. It seems as if that doesn't matter anymore. If a person came into the store to spend the money that they had worked so hard to get, we had to step up to the plate to make sure the freshness and quality was there. I think I would have enjoyed traveling around selling my wears or standing behind the counter providing the goods that people needed. The next time you enter a store, think about what it must have taken to provide the items for those hard working folks who lived in the area so long ago.
Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in a area where Doctors and Hospitals were few and far between? Usually the Doctor traveled for many miles at a time and rarely kept a schedule. Taking care of the sick usually fell upon the family and medications were not available as they are today. We seem to take for granted what we have and sometimes forget just how hard it was for folks who lived a long time ago.
Unless you were lucky, usually the only way to get the medical attention was to wait for the Doctor or use those "home remedies" that had been passed down from generation to generation. Later as more and more people moved into small towns, the Country Store appeared on the scene. Now I know what your thinking. How did the Country School help in caring for the sick. Depending on where you lived, a few Stores had an Apothecary. An Apothecary is defined as: " one who prepares and sells drugs or compounds for medicinal purposes". This person was usually the front line for treating people with medications that were prepared or compounded from the old "home remedies", roots and wild flowers, and other items that would help cure you. We think nothing of today to run down the CVS or Walgreens to pick up either what the Doctor has prescribed or that "off the shelf" product. Once we get back home, we usually feel like we can trust what we had just picked up and that it will work. Going to the Apothecary was not the same. Their products ran from the liquid, alcohol based cure, the 'cupping and bleeding' or Leeches, or maybe the latest cure from a traveling peddler. We never seem to understand how much medical science has improved until you are faced with going to an area that has limited medical service.
Come visit our Country Store and relive the days of the Apothecary. View all the "latest cures" and products that will fix you right up!
One thing that sets the early Appalachian Settler apart from the common man today is the ability to make something out of nothing. After traveling across the mountains with family and what ever you could cary on your back, finding few flat and clear places to set down roots, finally realizing that winter was setting in and your family needs shelter. Shelter, food, clothing, water, and other items needed to establish a home. No Home Depot or Lowes, no fast food drive throughs, and finally, very little other comforts of home to help you. We have a tendency to complain about everything. Jonas had to be concerned about his family and how his actions would effect their future. It was all in him hands. Of course family was very important and having the ability to channel all the energy towards staying alive was important. As I walk around the Farm I see evidence of just how hard it was to just survive. Looking at the buildings I understand that if faced with building on of those, I would fall short. I believe we have lost the ability to make things happen without depending on modern tools and those 'put together projects' packages that the big box store sells. Don't misunderstand me, I do think we can change but it has become much easier to depend on others to build the things we need.
Have you ever wondered what it would take to to go where no one has gone and witness nature in such a way as to drive you into pure joy? Picture the early hunters and trappers as the ventured across the mountains in search of gold. Not the shiny gold but the furry gold that we call furs and skins. The art of the hunt could not prepare you for what beauty that lies ahead in the hills and valleys we call the Appalachian Mountains. Our trapper "Raccoon" could not have been more taken with all the animals that roamed throughout the area. The area also was home to beautiful broadleaf hardwood trees, clean clear mountain water, and a view that could only be described as breathtaking. This was what stood before him as he made his way across the obstacle to westward travel. Join me as I connect with this early visitor to my home land as I attempt to "make history come alive".