Celebrating farming and fall in Pantego

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2012

PANTEGO — Life during Beaufort County’s “good old days” was remembered and celebrated Saturday during Fall Days, Farm Ways, an event hosted by the Pantego Academy Museum.
“This is our second year, and we plan to continue as an annual event,” said Jenny Hollowell, who described herself as one of the many volunteers who organized the celebration. “We are going to grow and keep adding things.”
Among the additions to this year’s schedule were an old-fashioned cider press and a small auction, which featured such diverse items as handmade quilts, a vintage Coca-Cola sign, an antique tobacco basket and freshly baked cakes. Hallas Boyd offered his services as auctioneer.
There was no admission charge to the event, which included something for folks of all ages.
“We just want to create an enormous amount of good will,” Hollowell said.
A barrel train provided rides for the youngsters, who also seemed to enjoy taking a turn at shelling corn and grinding it into flour. Meanwhile, volunteers served up a fundraising luncheon of sandwiches, soup, homemade desserts and iced tea.
Doraine Smith, a graduate of the former Pantego High School, donned an ankle-length dress and matching bonnet for the occasion. Over an iron pot filled with water heated by wood, she demonstrated the lost art of washing clothes the old-timey way.
Local musicians provided entertainment throughout the day, and the crowd viewed exhibits prepared by the Pantego Fire Department and the Eastern Antique Power Association, among others. A centerpiece of the celebration was the brief return of the now-restored first Pantego fire truck. A story on the truck and its unusual history will be featured in a future edition of the Daily News.
Organizers estimated that attendance for the weekend festivities doubled that of last year’s event. Tours of the restored Pantego Academy were a big draw, but Hollowell pointed out that one didn’t have to attend school in Pantego to appreciate the museum.
“It’s not just about Pantego Academy or Pantego High School,” she said of the museum. “This is an area museum and we encourage everyone to join us in the preservation of local history.”
The next big event planned at the museum is the open house celebrating an old-fashioned Christmas, scheduled for Dec. 2. A spring tea is another highlight of the year, according to Hollowell.
The Pantego Academy Museum is open for free tours each Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and at other times by appointment. For more information, call (252) 943-2200 or (252) 943-2034, or visit www.pantegoacademy.com.