Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

July 24, 2013

Pioneer Life Week underway at Carter Caves


July 24, 2013 —

Little, along with his wife, Sue, are among the event's veterans, and several other volunteers credit the couple with getting them interested in the old ways of life in America.

Little said he will tackle many tasks during the week, from the muzzle-loading demonstration to the history of buffalo in Kentucky, in hopes of passing past knowledge along to the next generation.

“I hope they get a little taste of history – smell and touch,” he said.

Among the volunteers in authentic period costumes and clothing, Rachel Hatfield and Amy Hall, both of Grayson, kept a close eye on their troop which included one-year-old Sophia Hatfield, Nathaniel Hall, 4, Izora Hall, 3, Tyler Horsley, 9, and Donnie Blevins, 13. The ladies will be participating in, or teaching, classes about pioneer life skills including “child rearing, wool spinning, cooking and needle work,” amongst other topics.

Hall said she enjoys watching the children absorb information about days gone by.

“I like just watching the kids learn life skills that most children nowadays don't know,” she said.

Hatfield, the daughter of one of Pioneer Life Week's founders, retired gunsmith Griz Hatfield, echoed her friends sentiments.

Retired cave guide Kenny “The Real” McCoy said Pioneer Life Week draws visitors from “two, three, four, five states away,” noting guests from Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia “and even from Pennsylvania and New York.”

McCoy said he appreciates the authenticity of the clothing worn by volunteers who work hard to bring history back to life.

“All of their attire is the type they would have worn in that period, which was quite different than today,” McCoy said. “They did have any entertainment like we do, and there were no comforts. They were totally dependent – for food, clothing and everything, on Mother Earth.”

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