Colby-Cur­tis brings ‘Old Trades’ to life

Stanstead Journal - - YOUR ANCESTRY - Vic­to­ria Vanier Stanstead

Peo­ple were com­ing and go­ing all day long, last Satur­day, at the Colby Cur­tis Mu­seum. History had spilled out onto the mu­seum’s lovely yard by way of a few ‘old trade’ demon­stra­tions and a garage sale of very old and in­ter­est­ing items, an ac­tiv­ity that co­in­cided with the vernissage of the mu­seum’s new tem­po­rary ex­hibit “The Crafts and Trades of Stanstead County”.

James Teuscher, a black­smith from Ver­mont, was busy mak­ing pulp­wood hooks the old-fash­ioned way, with hammer and fire. “It takes about three hours to make a pulp hook like this – this is about history and the way we used to do things,” said the black­smith as he held the piece in his por­ta­ble forge, the kind many farm­ers used to use in the last cen­tury. Anais Brault, of Fitch Bay, was demon­strat­ing the old craft of cre­at­ing pot­tery on a wheel along with Jeremie Gen­dron, en­cour­ag­ing any­one who wanted to give it a try to get their hands dirty. “It’s re­ally easy to learn and then you can make a lot of things on the wheel,” she said. Kathy Drew added to the am­bi­ence on the grounds with her fid­dle play­ing through­out the af­ter­noon.

Tucked away in the mu­seum’s so­lar­ium was Len­noxville’s Al­berta Everett, a keen knit­ter and cro­cheter who is al­ways happy to share her ex­per­tise. Lis­ten­ing to vis­i­tors ask her ques­tions, I was sur­prised at how un­fa­mil­iar these once com­mon­place crafts are for many peo­ple. For the oc­ca­sion the mu­seum’s barn, full of an­tique agri­cul­tural tools and other large arte­facts like a real birch bark ca­noe, was also open for peo­ple to tour.

makes a pulp hook dur­ing the Old Trades demon­stra­tion last Satur­day. Anais Brault, of Fitch Bay, learnt how to ‘throw’ pot­tery from Hat­ley pot­ter, Re­jean Cotes.

Ver­mont black­smith James Teuscher

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