County's agricultural heritage celebrated at Woodstock farm


October 03, 2002|By Lorraine Gingerich | Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE HOWARD County Antique Farm Machinery Club presented its seventh annual celebration of the county's farm heritage last weekend at Mount Pleasant Farm in Woodstock.

With free parking and admission, Howard County Farm Heritage Days was one of the best fall entertainment deals around.

Along with a vintage farm equipment show and two parades, visitors watched blacksmith demonstrations, corn-shelling and old-fashioned clothes-washing.

Kristin Moore, 10, of Ellicott City was the narrator at the clothes-washing station. Last year, she said, she learned the presentation with an adult, and this year she was able to describe the antique techniques on her own.

"I've been trying to improve it this year," she said.

Kristin explained different clothes-washing methods through the ages, including: a bucket of water; a glass washboard, a tub and lye soap; and a hand-operated wooden washing machine with a wringer. She also talked about how to use antique toasters and irons.

She said she enjoys the old-fashioned appliances. "I think they're neat," Kristin said. "I would like to wash all my clothes in one day with a washer board."

Kristin's mother, Barbara Moore, leader of Girl Scout Troop 728, helped at the clothes-washing and the butter-making stations. And behind the blacksmith shop, Kristin's father, Mike Moore, displayed his model trains.

Children could enjoy wagon rides and pony rides for a small fee. Vendors sold their wares, and some people set up a flea market to sell an array of new and used goods. Howard County master gardeners sold plants and dispensed free advice on how to care for them.

At the house, Marianne Pettis, assistant executive director of the Howard County Conservancy, which makes its home at Mount Pleasant Farm, helped children design and paint 8-inch quilt squares.

Pettis will sew the squares together to be hung inside the farmhouse, which is used as the conservancy's office.

Lime Kiln Middle School seventh-grader Katie Perkins of Girl Scout Troop 76 assisted Pettis. Katie's twin brother, Greg, and father, Douglas, helped park cars with the Civil Air Patrol. Both are members of the group.

Visitors had an opportunity tour the inside of the Mount Pleasant farmhouse. The original log cabin, which has acquired a few additions, dates to 1692.

Ellicott City residents Greg Tornatore and his wife, Susan, led small groups through the house, parts of which still have 19th-century windows and flooring.

Antique cars, trucks, tractors and machinery were parked in a field for visitors to see.

Norman Collins of Sykesville, an Antique Farm Machinery Club member, started collecting machinery in 1993.

"Some of these guys have been collecting them for 30 or 40 years," Collins said. "My wife and I have just about 70 pieces all together."

Collins described his passion for the equipment as "just a hobby."

He said he likes taking the tractors and motors apart and refurbishing them.

"What I've bought was junk," he said. "I work on them and get them running."

Collins plans to pass on his historic equipment to his great-grandchildren.

Robert Colson of West Friendship has been interested in antique equipment all his life. He showed his antique tractor, originally owned by his in-laws, and a Model-T Ford.

"You have no idea what it takes to run some of this stuff," Colson said. "It amazes me what our ancestors went through to get this stuff to work."

Colson enjoys his hobby with his son, Dale, of Sykesville and his grandson, Seth.

His brother, Kenneth Colson of Westminster, was also at the event. He set up a stand and sold dishes, glasses, games and other items at the flea market.

Robert Colson said the old-fashioned extravaganza is a low-priced and "laid-back" activity, but he pointed out that antique farm equipment can cost a lot of money.

His family enjoys collecting it, he said.

"We all get together out here and hang around all weekend," Dale Colson said. "It's a family affair."

For parents

The River Hill High School PTSA will sponsor a series of programs for parents at the school this year.

The first program, "The Many Issues of Teenage Driving," will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 in the school auditorium.

Sgt. Fred Von Briesen of the Howard County Police Department will discuss concerns about new and experienced teen-age drivers.

Donna Wilson, a representative of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, will discuss drinking and driving.

And Allstate insurance agent Jamie Coyle will discuss the insurance aspects of teen-age driving.

Parents also will address the group.

"Three or four parents will speak on their homegrown rules," said Lorraine Seelaus, program coordinator. "It's a good opportunity for parents with first-time drivers, as well as experienced [drivers]," she said.

The program is free and open to the public.

Information: 410-531-9990.


Last month, about 16,000 students across the country were notified that they had qualified as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program for 2003.

River Hill High School students Ken Arnold, Emily Hancock, Tom Mehoke, Xiao Wan, Risa Gordon, Holly Lance, Austine Moon and Yi-Wei Wang were among them.

Commended students from River Hill were Mark Adams, Daniel Ahn, Julie Banasiak, Michael Breslow, Carmen Cain, Eric Dementhon, Leif Ellingson, Megan Gonzalez, Jennifer Griesbach, Sally Lou, Anthony Polise, Jennifer Silber, Rachel Stuparek, Daniel Synk, Julie Towne and Paul Zimmerman.

Commended students placed in the top 5 percent of the 1 million-plus students who entered the academic competition.

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