Village Fair

The Historic Jamestown Society holds a free Village Fair every year on the third Saturday in July, so mark your calendar for 2015, and join us for a day of fun at Mendenhall Homeplace, 603 West Main St., Jamestown, NC, from 10am - 4pm.

Village Fair will feature a number of talented exhibitors and vendors who will share their talents in music, crafts, and other heritage-based endeavors such as chair making, wool spinning, gun making, and flint knapping. In addition, costumed interpreters will be on hand to lead children's activities.

Admission is free, but modestly-priced food and drink items will be available for purchase. So come on out and have some fun!

Annual Jamestown Village Fair planned.
By Mary Browning, for 7/10/05, credit for attached photo: Fred Browning.

It sounds as though Saturday, July 16 will be the day to explore “Old Jamestown” if you haven’t already done it—or even if you have. 

That is when the Historic Jamestown Society will sponsor its third annual Village Fair, at the Richard Mendenhall homeplace, at 601 W. Main St. in Jamestown (across from High Point City Lake Park). The event is free (except for the hot dogs), and the hours are 10 until 4. And, there’s plenty of shade under the big walnut trees.

All of the larger and most of the smaller buildings on the grounds of the homeplace will be open. These include the 1811 Richard Mendenhall house, the old Pennsylvania-style bank barn, several outbuildings, the replica schoolhouse, and also the Madison Lindsay Medical School. 

They are furnished with furniture, pottery, household utensils, farming tools, textiles, medical instruments, spinning wheels, wagons and buggies, and all the other things we associate with rural life in the 19th century. The old meeting house in High Point City Lake Park will be open also, as this was once an important part of Old Jamestown. It sat at the end of Union Street, which once ran due south to cross Main (old Federal) and to run between Richard Mendenhall’s house and his barn, past his tannery.

Jamestown was first settled about 1759. It became a chartered town in 1813, and most of these buildings represent those earliest years of its life. 

Of unusual interest in the Mendenhall barn is the false-bottom wagon, one of only two known to exist, which were used to transport slaves who were hidden under cargo, and to carry them to the Midwest on the Underground Railroad. 

The other performance, by a costumed group from the Outdoor Theater at Snow Camp, where “The Sword of Peace” and “Pathway to Freedom” are presented during the summer months, will probably appear about 3 pm. 

Outside the Lindsay house is the herb garden, a project of the Cedarwood Garden Club. The garden now has brick walks, a millstone centerpiece, and established plants that are identified..

Also returning will be an archaeologist with his display of Native American spear points and similar items. Spinners and quilters will be at work demonstrating their practical skills in the Mendenhall House. There will be games for kids, and some arts and crafts to work on: quilt fans, bonnets, and cornhusk dolls.

For the first time, a blacksmith will be on hand to demonstrate what the old apprentice bonds used to refer to as the “art and mystery” of his craft.

Another first will be the silent auction of an old claw footed bathtub. This elderly beauty sat in regal splendor on a raised platform in a back second-floor room of the Richard Mendenhall House for many years, but needs a new home now.

Even if you’re not interested in the tub, this will be a fun way for your and your family to spend some quality Saturday time. Call 454-3819 for more information.

News & Record, Sunday, July 10, 2005

Reprinted with permission of the News & Record  and of the author