Cooleemee Historical Society Teaches Students About Chores of the Past 

The Cooleemee Historical Association stands with their animals and students they are teaching how to do farm chores.

Stepping back in time to 1934 to learn lessons about chores that the people of old Cooleemee performed daily was a fun morning for two first-grade classes at Cooleemee Elementary School.

Getting their hands wet while scrubbing kitchen hand towels, rinsing, and learning how to wring out the water seemed like a lot of work, but they had fun. Each had a washboard to scrub the towels, and Lynn Vogler reminded them to use soap. Tammy Lagle held a small cloth on the clothesline, then walked down to the end and back to remove any dirt. “You don’t want this dirt to get on your clean clothes,” she explained as she showed them the discolored cloth. After choosing wooden clothespins or the ones used today, which are made of metal and wood, they learned to dog-ear the ends and secure their cloths on the clothesline.

John Chandler and Johnathon Vizard taught the students how to hold a hoe, how to make rows in the dirt, plant seeds, and how to tamp down the dirt. Canning vegetables raised in the garden was essential for every household. Preserving some vegetables, like green beans strung on a string, called “leather britches,” made it easy to dehydrate them.

All shared collecting eggs and putting them in a basket. Chickens can be skittish, which makes them cluck and move around quickly.
Some children were unsure about being that close to collect the eggs, but Cathy Marshbanks’s gentle hand helped them complete the task.

Jeff Ferrell teaches the importance of each household owning a pig.

Not many grown-ups can say they have made “slop” for a pig, but the first graders can now say they have. Combining all the leftovers from the dinner table became food for the pigs. Having a chance to pet the pig was a brave moment for some but was very exciting for most. Jeff Ferrell displayed a side of pork, bacon, and sausage.

Learning they can’t get a hamburger from a pig was a fun fact for them to talk about. Visiting Madison the cow was an added bonus. Madison was gentle, so each student got to stroke her very soft fur on her nose. The students also learned why her eyes were on the sides of her head.

Teresa Bivins demonstrates how to churn whole milk to make butter
Teresa Bivins demonstrates how to churn whole milk to make butter.

Making butter out of whole milk sounds so simple because it is. Students have the knowledge to go home, pour whole milk into a jar with a lid, and start shaking to make their own. Tasting the homemade butter on a cracker put smiles on everyone’s faces.
Susan and Teresa Bivins assisted with churning the butter.

The Cooleemee Historical Association teaches students how to churn butter.

Before returning to class, each student received a coloring book that reiterated all the things they had learned that morning.
The Cooleemee Historical Association has more events planned throughout the entire school calendar, including for kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

Thank you, CHA, for providing students with hands-on experiences that give them a full picture and understanding of their heritage.
Feel free to contact me at 336.250.1133 or at I would love to hear from you.