Cooleemee students learn about chores in 1934

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By KC Smith

Cooleemee Correspondent

Stepping back to 1934 to learn daily chores of Cooleemee families was a fun morning for two first grade classes from Cooleemee Elementary.

Getting their hands wet while scrubbing kitchen hand towels, rinsing and learning how to wring out the water seemed to be a lot of work but they had fun.   Each student had a washboard to scrub the towels and Lynn Vogler reminded them to use the soap.   

Tammy Lagle holds a small cloth on the clothesline then walks down to the end and back to remove any dirt. “You don’t want this dirt to get on your clean clothes,” she told students, as she showed them the discolored cloth.

After choosing wooden clothes pins or the ones used today that have metal and wood, they learned to dog ear the ends and secure clothes on the line.

John Chandler and Johnathon Vizard taught the students how to hold a hoe, how to make rows in the dirt, plant seeds, and how to tamp down the dirt.

Canning vegetables raised in the garden were essential for each household. Preserving some vegetables like green beans strung on a string, called “leather britches”, made it easy to dehydrate them.

Collecting eggs and putting them in a basket was shared by all. Chickens can be skittish which makes them cluck and move around quick.

Some children were non-trusting to be that close to collect the eggs but a gentle hand from Cathy Marshbanks helped them to complete the task.   

Not too many grown ups can say they have made “slop” for a pig but the first graders can now say they have. Combining all leftovers from the dinner table became food for the pigs.

Having a chance to pet the pig was a brave moment for some but was exciting to most.

Jeff Ferrell displayed on a table a side of pork, bacon and sausage.  Learning they can’t get hamburger from a pig were fun facts for students to talk about.

Visiting Madison the cow was an added bonus. Madison was gentle so that each student got to stroke her soft fur on her nose and the students learned why her eyes are on the sides of her head.

Making butter out of whole milk sounds simple because it is.  Students have the knowledge to go home, pour whole milk in a jar with a lid and start shaking to make their own.  Tasting the homemade butter on a cracker put smiles on everyone’s face.

Susan Wall and Teresa Bivins assisted with churning the butter.

Before retuning to their class, each student received a coloring book that reiterated all the things they learned that morning.

The Cooleemee Historical Association has more events planned through the school year for all students.

Thank you CHA for providing students hands on experiences that give them a full picture and understanding about their heritage.    

Feel free to contact me at 336.250.1133, or I would love to hear from you.