The 16th Annual Village Fair returns July 20 to Richard Mendenhall Homeplace in Jamestown
The 16th Annual Village Fair returns July 20 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Richard Mendenhall Homeplace at 603 W. Main Street in Jamestown.
The Village Fair, sponsored by the Historic Jamestown Society, will feature a number of returning and new exhibitors and vendors who will share their talents in heritage-based trades, crafts, and artistic endeavors such as 18th century chair making, wood turning, wool spinning, and gun making.
“This is a community fair that is a way for us to give back and a way to acknowledge and support these people who are continuing heritage-based crafts,” said Shawn Rogers, director of the Mendenhall Homeplace.
Admission is free to Village Fair and includes tours of the Mendenhall Homeplace and store across the street and the Madison Lindsay House.
Antique engines and a blacksmith will be on hand to bring old farm implements to life.
Vendors and skilled exhibitors will include quilters, wet-plate photographer, traditional fiber preparation, a beekeeper, riflemaker, wooden bowl makers, gardener, weavers, knitters, authors, and chairmakers. All appearances are subject to change.
Children’s crafts and games return as does quill writing, which will be across the street in the Mendenhall Store.
New this year is the 24th Regiment of Foot. A living history organization representing the daily life of one of the British Army’s most highly decorated regiments as it appeared during the 1777 Saratoga campaign of the American Revolution.
Also new will be a group celebrating the 400th Anniversary of African Americans in the United States. Decendents of the Fuller family who lives across Main Street from the Mendenhall Homeplace will describe their family history.
Representatives of the North Carolina Friends Historical Society will be on hand to tell the story of Quakers in the area.
Performers from the Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre production “Pathway to Freedom,” which tells of the struggles and heroism of the 1840s and ‘50s along the Underground Railroad from North Carolina to Indiana, will perform at 3 p.m.
Various groups will provide traditional folk music throughout the day on fiddle, mandolin, guitar and banjo. Colonial dancers will also perform.
Several Mendenhall descendants will perform as some of their female ancestors.
Most buildings on the grounds will be open for viewing village life in the 19th century, including Dr. Madison Lindsay’s medical school and office, one of the state’s first medical schools.
Listen as docents tell the history of the Richard Mendenhall house, store, museum and bank barn, each over 200 years old.
Housed in the unique 1805 Pennsylvania-style bank barn is one of only two false-bottomed wagons remaining in the country used to transport slaves on the Underground Railroad. Docents will be available to tell the story of the slaves’ escape to freedom.
Delicious, modestly-priced food and drinks will be available for purchase, courtesy of SidWill’s Cafe and Shaved Ice. There also is a charge for food and any products purchased from vendors.
Convenient parking will be at City Lake Park across the street, with limited handicap parking at the Homeplace.
Don’t miss the Historic Treasures Tag Sale. Proceeds help raise funds for repairs at the Homeplace.
All proceeds benefit the Historic Jamestown Society which operates the Mendenhall Homeplace. Donations are appreciated and sponsorships are still available. Contact Rogers at 336-454-3819 if you wish to be a sponsor.
“We look at this as our major annual fundraiser for the Historic Jamestown Society,” Rogers, who pointed out that current needs include repairs to the barn and materials for a museum-quality collections inventory.
Story and Photos by Carol Brooks