Virginia's Explore Park

Visits to Virginia's Explore Park near Roanoke, VA

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Virginia's Explore Park - Roanoke

Virginia's Explore Park is located near Roanoke

The Explore Park provides living displays of life in South-west Virginia spanning the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The Park's 18th Century Colonial Fort is a reproduction of Fort Vause, a strategic "Station" that was located just south of Roanoke/Salem in what today is Shawsville. Frontier Forts of Southwest Virginia

Explore Park's Fort Vause

Each new settlement required the establishment of
militia for protection. Militia bylaws differed by settlement. Counties of the originial 13 Colonies usually designated a Lieutenant to form, drill, and maintain the unit. Frontier militia were usually formed by large land-holders, politicians, or men with military background. It was generally assumed that all able-bodied men between the designated ages, usually 18 and 60, were to regularly attend militia drills, or "Musters". Those eligable, but chosing not to attend, would have fines levied against them. Each man was responsible for providing his own musket, powder, and amunition. For the Common Defense. Meeting places initially were the local forts of stations, and as the counties and towns were established, the local taverns, or county courthouse were the most common meeting places.

Explore Park's Independence Day Celebration

Explore Park Staff and Volunteers

Staff and volunteers gather at the 19th Century Hofauger House.

Explore Park: Dean Shostak

Musician Dean Shostak performs on the Hurdy-Gurdy. Posted by Picasa

The Park provides regular performances by some of the best local and regional musical talent. Here Dean Shostack, visiting from Colonial Williamsburg, plays the Hurdy-Gurdy. Dean is a master musician in a variety of musicial instruments, including the Glass Armonica, other selections

Explore Park: Boiling Natural Dye

Robin and Nancy boiling dye Posted by Picasa

Using natural ingrediants such as berries, mushrooms, barks, nuts, and roots, each dye had its own distinct color. Natural Dyes & Making Natural Dyes from Plants

Explore Park: Working the Shaving Horse

Jack working the shave horse Posted by Picasa

The Shaving Horse is a tool which has taken on many forms, depending on the use and intent. Initially designed to hold pieces of wood for shaping with a "draw knife" or similar sharp-edged tool, the Shaving Horse provided the best tool for creating handles, any other rounded wood forms. Shaving Horse Swiss Shave Horse Plans

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Explore Park: Natural "Brain" Tanning

Eddie smoking a deer hide Posted by Picasa

Tanning is really not the correct term when using natural ingrediants to "dress" a hide. Rather than using the modern chemicals to "Tan" the hide, all natural ingrediants and methods are employed to create a totally unique fabric. Chemically Tanned hides are turned out by the thousands commercially, but lack the resilliance, and versatility provided by naturally Dressed hides which can be exposed to water, and actually soap washed. Brain Tanned

Explore Park: Native Local Music

Kimberly playing the Mountain Dulcimer Posted by Picasa

Explore Park: Working 19th Century Grist Mill

Explore Park's Working Grist Mill Posted by Picasa

Explore Park: Hofhauger House

The Park's 19th Century Hofhauger House Posted by Picasa