Cooleemee kids learn about children’s chores in days gone by

Published 2:25 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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By KC Smith

Cooleemee Correspondent

On May 4th, Cooleemee Elementary School first and second graders visited the Mill House Museum on Cross Street and learned about chores in Old Time Cooleemee.

Adults who took part in these lessons when they were young still talk about their experiences today.

The Cooleemee Historical Association developed several events for the children to learn so they have knowledge about the town and what life was like in the 1930s.

Back in those times, young boys had the job to collect firewood early in the morning so their mama could make breakfast for the family.

Hot coals helped heat the ironing form so clothes could be ironed.  If the iron got cold it had to be placed in the coals to heat it up.

Boys and girls had a chance to wash some cloths on a washboard, rinse it out in a separate tub and then learned to twist the fabric or “wring” the water out so they could dry it on the clothesline.   They later hung the cloth on the line and secured it with a close pin so the wind wouldn’t blow it off.

A plowed garden awaited all to learn how to use a hoe by using the pointed end to make a valley for the corn kernels.  They compared a jar of canned green beans to a string of dried green beans.

     A hand made “dibble” had a tapered end with measured inch cuts on the side to get the correct depth for planting certain plants.

What was eaten at the table was all raised in a garden. Only basics were purchased at the store.

Pepper the Pig was taking a rest in the back corner of its lot while the children got up close and personal for a stroke on his back.  They learned to make slop, which was food left from a meal and later fed to the pigs.

Students learned that when a pig’s tail is curled up, they are happy; but if it goes straigh,t it could be stressed.

Learning to make butter is always fun but not all students are excited about tasting the white stuff.  If it doesn’t taste like the butter they have at home their nose would turn up while others say with a smile they liked it.

I wonder how many will go home and make some of their own homemade butter by shaking it in a jar?

Several new volunteers helped with the event this year which made it a huge success.

Besides the normal scheduled events the CHA provides for the school they have interests in becoming more involved with the community.

If you have interest of being involved with this group, call president Sandra Ferrell  (336.284.4254) and she will arrange an interview.

This years volunteers were, Van Ferrell, Jeff Ferrell, Jonathon Vizard, John Chandler, Jenny Rosier, Susan Wall, Sandra Ferrell, Lynn Vogler, Donna Henderson, Jim Henderson and Cathy Marshbanks.

Sharing your time is very valuable and we appreciate all of you for making a difference in the young lives you touch each year.

If you have questions please feel free to contact me at 336.250.1133, or at I would love to hear from you.