Homeschool Days at Rocky Mount
Travel back in time to 1791 and spend some time with the Cobb Family.
Today T and I visited Rocky Mount in Piney Flats, Tennessee to experience Homeschool Days. They offer many classes but he was most interested in the Blacksmith Class and I was most interested in the Candle Making Class so we attended both. We are so glad we did! History truly comes alive at this beautiful homestead.
We toured the buildings and spent some time with Mrs. Cobb who was ecstatic over her lovely tea block that her husband had recently returned with.
We witnessed ladies spinning wool and learned a lot about how they made linen thread as well.
We churned some butter and enjoyed the peace and quiet of this lovely place.
Afterward, we visited the museum and enjoyed all of the many artifacts on display. After that, it was time to join the blacksmith.
T was absolutely fascinated and was excited to discover he was going to be able to make his very own musket ball and choose from a cast to make a pewter heart. We learned some fascinating things while visiting here as well.
For example, any guesses as to what this cast is for?
It’s a button cast and we learned that most buttons were made of leather or bone back then. If you had the luxury of metal buttons they were considered so valuable that you would include them in your will. We learned about the bellows and how they worked. We handled spoons that had been cast and were introduced to various tools. When T was asked if he knew what an apprentice was he answered, a sidekick? LOL
From there we went to the candle making class and watched as a large kettle of wax (back then it would have been beef fat), was lifted from a huge open hearth and carried outside. A string was tied to a stick and the children had a chance to dip it again and again until at last, they had their very own candle. Dip and cool. Dip and cool.
It took about thirty minutes for each of them to complete their masterpiece and the whole time we were given fun facts from the friendly staff.
Here are a few of our favorite Fun Facts.
- Most girls were ready to wed at the tender age of thirteen.
- To let the young men know she was available, her father would buy her a pair of earrings and their presence was all she needed to be known as a possible future bride.
- Young men usually married by the age of sixteen. First, they needed to learn a trade so they could support their future family.
- Men who were married wore socks up to their knees. Men who were available had bare legs.
- Some people only bathed 3 or 4 times a year. Bathing was always done outside. Dad went first and then Mom and then the children. Oldest to youngest. The youngest got the dirtiest and coldest water. Poor babies.
- Kids starting doing chores at the age of five. Chores such as pulling wool and dipping candles.
- Rocky Mount is currently home to a single black sheep!
- We also learned about two famous sisters who were blacksmiths in West Virginia even though it was considered very taboo for women to fill this position back then.
- Pewter plates and spoons were polished until they looked like much more valuable silver!
Homeschoolers, this was so much fun! We highly recommend you add it to your schedule next year! If you attended let us know what you thought in the comments below. We love to hear from you!
Below are some upcoming events at Rocky Mount! Grab your calendar and get them scheduled!
- Spirit of the Harvest: Saturday, October 27th, 2016: Participate with the family and friends of the Cobb Family as they gather in the rewards of their labor! Experience the harvest of the crops and the preparations being made for the long winter season.
- Candlelight Christmas: December 2, 3, 9, and 10th, 2016: I have to tell you, we have attended this event and it was amazing. The house is all set up for Christmas and the cold night air seems so much less frigid because of the lanterns lining all of the paths and the cheerful fires filling the open hearths. For a truly enchanting Christmas experience, T and I both recommend a visit to Rocky Mount at Christmas!
Visit their website to stay current on new events and learn more about this historic site!