Pioneer Day: Taking families on a blast to the past - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Pioneer Day: Taking families on a blast to the past


If you love history, or the chance to time travel a little, one local museum and park is giving your family that chance to go back in time this weekend.

The Old Mill Pond Museum at Parrott Park is a local treasure trove of old things -- just about anything that you would have found back in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.

They're hosting their second annual Pioneer Day this Saturday. Event organizers say that Pioneer Day gives them the chance to show off those old items while teaching parents and kids what life used to be like during those times.

"What we're doing is trying to offer a fun, educational experience for children and adults alike to come out here and learn how life used to be during the period of 1850 to 1950," said George Jones, Curator of the Old Mill Pond Museum.

People who come to the museum will find so many reminders of the past -- a replica of the old Smith County Pharmacy, complete with medicine bottles; a section showing off old saws as a reminder of the local logging industry; an old country kitchen, with cisterns and cast iron skillets and an early refrigerator that had to be dipped in a well; and a look at all the household tools you could imagine.

Visitors to the museum also get the chance to see old musical instruments from all over the world.

Jones calls the collection unique.

"We have classic cars, we have tractors and engines, just about everything you can think of for farm use or home use during that time period, we've got an example of it here," he said.

At Pioneer Day, families will have a chance to see the grounds of Parrott Park as they watch blacksmith demonstrations and watch a wild west shoot-out with a bigger message.

"We all dress in 1880 time-period costumes. I'm dressed as a cavalry colonel and there are guys that are outlaws and sheriffs and ladyfolk. And we do Christian skits to win souls to Christ," said Colonel Stan Murrell, a member of Cross Brand Cowboy Church's group "The Outsiders."

Jones says kids who come out to Pioneer Day come away with a reminder about how life used to be.

"It wasn't all done with computers, that it was a hands-on thing, and that human ingenuity is an amazing thing," Jones said. "All this stuff, they had to figure out a way to get things done, and sometimes they didn't have any electricity. They didn't have a power source close at hand. And they didn't have a computer to tell them how to do it."

If you'd like to go to Pioneer Day, there will also be a petting zoo, an easter egg hunt, face painting and carnival games, several live bands, and a magician.

The fun lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Parrott Park in Lindale. The cost is free.

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