Military Appreciation Day at Frontier Homestead

veteran day copyIn an effort to honor and recognize the significant contributions of our military members, Utah State Parks announces Military Appreciation Day Saturday, August 13. Day-use entrance fees into all Utah state parks will be waived for active service members and veterans and their families. All 42 state parks will offer special activities or displays as way to pay tribute and say thank you.  

 

Signal Flags

Tent Pitching

Come celebrate our courageous military personnel with your family, friends and community at Frontier Homestead on Saturday August 13, 2016. Frontier Homestead will present a number of military themed activities for young and old alike, including firing our cannon on every half hour between 10am and 2pm. Visitors will step back in time and live life as a frontier soldier. Activities include learning close order drills, writing letters with ink and quill, learning to communicate with signal flags, pitching frontier army tents, and solving a secret code. Additionally, our wood fired oven will be in use providing era appropriate treats. Visitors will also have access to all our hands-on historical activity stations. Admission to the park is $5.00 per family or free for active service members and veterans and their families as well as Friends of the Frontier Homestead members.                                                                                     The activities will run from 10am to 2 p.m.

We will be firing the cannon

At our Military Appreciation Day there is sure to be something to make you think, smile, or laugh so come join us. Spend some time learning about your family by playing with your family at Frontier Homestead.

Celebrate Archaeology at Frontier Homestead

A mock dig is one of the activities being presented. Frontier Homestead State Park welcomes archaeologists young and old and their families to participate in its annual Utah Archaeology Day on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in activities involving Native American games, history, traditional crafts and skills, and visit with a variety of demonstrators. Boy Scouts who participate in the event can earn their Indian Lore merit badge and complete some of the Archaeology badge requirements. Archaeology Day will take place from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Cost per person is $2.00 per person or $5.00 per family.

Archaeology Day is the kick-off for a series of activities sponsored by Frontier Homestead State Park, the Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau, Project

Traditional crafts and skills.

Archaeology, Transcon Environmental, Southern Utah University-College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Intersearch, and the Pizza Cart; and, co-sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Home Depot, and Lin’s Fresh Market.

The celebration of Utah Archaeology and Preservation Month continues on Wednesday May 11 at 7:00 pm. Come enjoy the camaraderie of the Iron County Historical Society and meet historic archaeologist and co-owner of Transcon Environmental, Everett Bassett.  Mr. Bassett will present his recent findings pertaining to the mass graves near Mountain Meadows.  This is an exceptional and enlightening experience that is open to the public. The program will take place at Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, and is free to the public.

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On Saturday May 14, enjoy a free, guided tour of Old Iron Town, a late 19th Century iron mining town.  The tour will begin at Frontier Homestead State Park at 10 am and return by 1 pm. Sack lunches will be provided to all registered participants.  You must request a reservation and receive confirmation for this event.  Space is limited to 15 individuals.  Please email Samantha Kirkley to reserve a spot, including any dietary restrictions, samanthakirkley@suu.edu.  Please come with appropriate footwear, sunscreen, and water.  Limited carpooling to the site is available.

Next, on Monday May 16, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the public can take advantage of a rare opportunity to see artifacts from local archaeological sites.  Archaeologist and Curator, Barbara Frank, will be offering tours every half hour of the SUU Archaeological Repository.  The Repository is located in Room 101-A, west basement door, ELC, SUU campus. Directional signs will be on the doors of the ELC to ensure that you arrive.  All ages welcome!

Finally, on Wednesday, May 25, 7:00 pm at the Cedar City Public Library, archaeologist Barbara Frank will facilitate a book discussion of A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman. Fifteen copies of this book are available at the circulation desk. This is also a great opportunity to see the Archaeology Month display inside and take time to enjoy the Rock Art out front!

According to Samantha Kirkley, State Coordinator for Project Archaeology, “Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month, a Division of State History program, is an annual celebration of Utah’s archaeological and historic resources. With so many wonderful archaeological sites in Southern Utah, we really have something to celebrate and enjoy.  Archaeology Month offers opportunities for all ages to participate in activities that promote cultural understanding and respect, and stewardship of these special places.”

Final_Flat

Sheep to Shawl: Spinning and Weaving

Controlling the yarn The spinning process turns prepared fiber into yarn or thread. The spinner controls the thickness and amount of twist to give the finished yarn the desired qualities. Usually yarn is plied, multiple strands twisted together, to give the final product more strength. The yarn is stored on a spindle or bobbin as it is spun.

A spinner in action

 

Once the spindle or bobbin is full the yarn is wound on to a skein winder. There are various types of skein winder, but they all perform the same purpose: they allow the length of the yarn to be determined and keep the yarn in organized, untangled loops, ready to be turned into fabric.

 

 

Weaving

One way the yarn could be used is on a loom to weave fabric or rugs. Warp threads are those that run the length of the fabric. The warp is wound on to a beam at the back of the loom. Each strand of warp is then passed through a harness and a reed. The harness moves up and down to create the woven pattern. A simple loom will have just two harnesses which makes a plain weave. Looms with four, eight, or sixteen harnesses allow for more complicated patterns. In a floor loom, like the rug loom at the museum, the harnesses are controlled by treadles. When a treadle is stepped on a system of chains and pulleys raise one harness and lower the other. This creates a space for the shuttle containing the weft, the horizontal strands, to pass from one side to the other.

You can even weave using straws.

The other treadle is then pressed, causing the harnesses reversethe position of the warp, and the shuttle is passed back across the loom. Between each pass of the shuttle the reed is pulled forward to press the weft tightly in to place. As the fabric grows it is wound onto a beam at the front of the loom.

015Also, be sure to mark your calendars for our Sheep to Shawl event, This Saturday, March 19,  from 10am to 2pm. Call us at 435-586-9290 for more information.

Sheep to Shawl 2016

Join us Saturday, March 19 for a trip back in time as we explore wool, from Sheep to Shawl. Frontier Homestead State park in partnership with the Sagebrush Fiber Artisans will allow participants to journey through the step-by-step process of taking wool from the sheep’s back to yours. From 10:00-2:00 have fun with the whole family as you explore how pioneers made clothes. Sheep will be attending as well to give visitors the opportunity to touch and feel before and after their annual haircut. DSC_0569

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Demonstrations include washing, carding, spinning and dyeing wool. Knitting, crocheting and weaving will be available to participate in. Come enjoy the activities and visit with our talented craftspeople. Cost is $1.50 per person or $5.00 per family. Friend’s Group members are free with membership card.

Iron Mission Days Are Here Again!

The spinners are always a hit.Frontier Homestead State Park Museum once again celebrates the founding of Cedar City with a day of activities designed to honor the spirit of our community and those that created opportunities for our growth. Enjoy the cool crisp fall air on Saturday November 7th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm as we host our annual Iron Mission Days. The cost is $5.00 per family. Troop 350 presses the apples ever year.Pioneer activities, crafts for kids, and living history demonstrations will be available. Staff will be showcasing tomahawk throwing, candle dipping and bread baked in the wood-fired bread oven.  Freshly pressed apple cider will be there for all. Additionally, visitors will be able to practice wood working skills in the Nelson Carpentry Shop and, of course, making the park’s well-known rag dolls. The Sagebrush Fiber Artisans will be practicing their craft, the replica Fremont Indian pithouse is now open for exploration, and patrons will be able to take advantage of the newly completed horseshoe pits.

 

Log Cutting is a family affair. Throwing a "hawk" can be an adventure.Saturday November 7th promises to be a fun-filled day of adventure for the whole family. Step back in time with Frontier Homestead State Park and celebrate Cedar City’s birthday Frontier Homestead style.

Our historic corn sheller in action. 

The Deseret Alphabet

A headstone inscribed with the Deseret Alphabet in the Cedar City cemetery. While we have been focusing on school the past weeks we thought it would be interesting to post about one of the subjects all early Utah Territory schoolchildren learned, the Deseret Alphabet.

Brigham Young had the idea to create an alphabet that would help simplify the spelling of the English language for the thousands of new converts that were coming to Utah.  For many of these new converts, English was a new language. The purpose of this new alphabet was intended to ease the burden for students learning to read and write English, which with its many inconsistencies proved difficult to learn.

The Deseret Alphabet began on January 19, 1854.  The new alphabet consisted of 38 to 40 characters.  Each character was designed to present a sound of the English language.  George D. Watt along with Brigham Young created the symbols for the alphabet.  Its characters were to be so much simpler than those in the Roman alphabet that one would not have to learn to print one way and write cursive another. In fact, an ordinary person using the alphabet would easily be able to write one hundred words a minute. Every letter would have a specific sound, and every word would be spelled just like it sounded. The letters C, D, L, O, P, S, and W of the Roman alphabet were retained, but most of them were given new sounds, and thirty-one characters were added.

For some time, beginning February 16, 1859,  the front page of the weekly Deseret News was nearly covered with articles written in the Deseret alphabet. In 1860 “Holiness to the Lord” was inscribed in the Deseret alphabet on Deseret gold pieces. For at least a year Brigham Young’s account books were kept in the Deseret alphabet. Four books were published using the Deseret Alphabet; Deseret First and Second Book Readers, the Book of Nephi Part 1, and then the entire Book of Mormon.

The translation key.

Lessons from the primer. Can you translate?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite being heavily promoted by President Brigham Young, the Deseret Alphabet never gained wide acceptance and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 brought many people to Utah who were uninterested in learning the system. Soon after Brigham Young’s death in 1877, resources and funding for the project came to an end.

Military Appreciation Day at Frontier Homestead

In an effort to honor and recognize the significant contributions of our military members, Utah State Parks announces Military Appreciation Day Saturday, August 15. Day-use entrance fees into all Utah state parks will be waived for active service members and veterans and their families. All 42 state parks will offer special activities or displays as way to pay tribute and say thank you. Boom!

Come celebrate our courageous military personnel with your family, friends and community at Frontier Homestead on Saturday August 15, 2015. Frontier Homestead will present a number of military themed activities for young and old alike, including firing our cannon on every half hour between 10am and 3pm. Visitors will step back in time and live life as a frontier soldier. Activities include learning close order drills, writing letters with ink and quill, learning to communicate with signal flags and secret codes, playing frontier games, and more. Visitors will also have access to all our hands-on historical activity stations. Admission to the park is $5.00 per family or free for active service members and veterans and their families and Friends of the Frontier Homestead members. The activities will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At our Military Appreciation Day there is sure to be something to make you think, smile, or laugh so come join us. Spend some time learning about your family by playing with your family. For more information about Frontier Homestead or Military Appreciation Day call us at 435-586-9290, visit our facebook page  www.facebook.com/friendsofthefronteirhomestead, or our website  www.fronterhomestead.org Frontier Homestead is located at 635 North Main in Cedar City.

Writing home with an ink and quill

Practicing semaphore. Translation: FUN

One, Two , Three... Cheese

Just in time for summer, we have set up some new photo opportunities. While pictures can be taken anywhere in the museum or on the grounds outside, these opportunities give visitors a chance to remember more than the scenery.  We currently have seven photo ops: the winter exhibit, the ever popular stagecoach, the jail cell, the school house, the Hunter House, the You-Load wagon, and the mine cart. The winter exhibit, school house, and jail provide costumes to dress up and get in the mood.   Greeners winterphoto op dunce  

 

In the Hunter House the scene is set for an old fashioned family portrait. Remember: don’t smile.

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The stagecoach, mine cart and You-Load wagon offer opportunities to climb in, hold on, and have fun. We have already had a few people share their pictures on Instagram with our hashtag, #frontierhomestead. kids stagecoach 2While pictures may not take you back in time to live like the pioneers, they can ensure that the memories made will endure for a lifetime.

The Atlatl

The dart is on the way to its target. Continuing our theme of how the local Native Americans hunted, we thought a discussion of the atlatl is necessary. The atlatl is a wooden handle about 24 inches long.  At the tip end is a hook, point, or pin.  It is used to cast or throw darts with great accuracy and tremendous force.   The darts are about 5 or 6 feet long and are flexible and look like oversized arrows.  The back end of the dart is hollowed out a bit so that it will fit over the pin on the atlatl.   This helps hold it in place but the dart is also held onto the atlatl with the thumb and first finger of the hand that is holding it in preparation for the cast.  The atlatl has been used for at least 20,000 years and predates the bow and arrow.  Compared to the atlatl, the bow and arrow is a very new development.  The atlatl was used all over the world.

The atlatl was used for more than 20,000 years because it provided greater penetrating power than a hand held spear. It had a velocity 15 times greater, could reach four times the distance and hit with an impact 200 times greater than a spear thrown by hand. Additionally, it proved multi-functional and could be used to make fire, grind pigments, as a musical instrument and often as a memory aid.

Upclose illustration of a hand holding an atlatl. Illustration by Neal Anderson

By the early A.D.’s, the bow and arrow had almost completely replaced the atlatl. The bow and arrow allowed for greater velocity, ease and swiftness of movement, a shorter launch time, ease of mastery, and proved more accurate. Next time you stop by Frontier Homestead, ask to take a crack at the atlatl on our range and see if you have what it takes to not go hungry.

Next Time: Artist Clayton Rippey

 

Young hunters practicing their technique.

Our New Native Heritage Exhibit

Map of the planned Native Heritage Exhibit.Iron County and Cedar City have a long cultural history, including that of Native peoples dating back thousands of years prior to the arrival of European settlers.  Before pioneers arrived in Southwest Utah, there were a number of different American Indian groups who lived here: 1) Paleo-Indians, 2) Archaic people, 3) the Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi), 4) the Fremont, and 5) the Numic (Paiute).  The Paleo-Indians were the oldest, going back 12,000 years, followed by Archaic hunter and gatherers, the Ancestral Pueblo, and the Fremont culture. The most recent are the Numic who arrived between 500-700 years ago and are still living here.  At Frontier Homestead, these traditions are represented by the Paiute camp and surrounding area that is dedicated to telling the story of these early peoples.The pithouse under construction.  The Native Heritage Exhibit, a new area of Frontier Homestead State Park & Museum, will allow each visitor the chance to experience how Native peoples lived in Iron County prior to Euroamerican settlement.  Additionally, students will be able to become archaeologists for the day, learning techniques and methods of the archaeological process.Explore the Fremont pit house and the Paiute wickiups, see a traditional shade shelter and Native garden, all set among native vegetation and replica prehistoric village mounds. This project is a joint effort of the Frontier Homestead Museum Foundation, The Archaeological Conservancy, Southern Utah University, Project Archaeology, and Cedar City RAP Tax.

Next Time: Paiute Deadfall Trap

Corn grinding will be one of the activities available.

Archaeology Month is here!

 

May is Archaeology and Historic Preservation month in Utah, and Frontier Homestead, along with Southern Utah University, Project Archaeology, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest service have teamed up to provide a slate of activities that all ages can enjoy.

The fun begins on Saturday, May 2 from 10am to 3pm, with the fourth annual Archeology Day at Frontier Homestead. Learn how to throw an Atl-Atl, build an ancient dwelling, and make your own rock art and rope. Boy Scouts will be able to earn their Indian Lore merit badge. Bring some stuff from home and “Ask and Archaeologist” to give you some insight into your family treasures. Park entrance fee is $1.50 per person or $5.00 per family.  We will also be offering a guided tour of Parowan Gap led by BLM archaeologist Jamie Palmer. The tour leaves at 9am from Frontier Homestead and will return in time to enjoy the activities at the museum. Carpool or drive yourself, the choice is yours.

Building a Wikiup for the Indian Lore merit badge.

On Monday, May 4 from 6-8pm the SUU archeology repository will be open for tours. This is a rare opportunity to see artifacts from a variety of archeological sites around southern Utah. Curator Barbara Frank will be offering these tours every half hour.

Old Iron Town is next tour stop during this month long celebration of the past. Museum staff member Stephen Olsen will be leading this tour. Olsen is full of knowledge and lore about this often overlooked site in Iron County. The tour leaves at 10am from Frontier Homestead. Bring water and sunscreen.  Once again, you can carpool or drive.

Wednesday, May 27 from 6-8pm, Frontier Homestead hosts the final event of the month. Come and mix and mingle as you look around the museum and then stay for the presentation by David Maxwell, Director of Geosciences at SUU, who will be talking about ancient rock symbols on the Arizona Strip.

For more specific information and directions, please give us a call at (435) 586-9290.

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Next Time: Exploring the new Native Heritage Exhibit

Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer at Frontier Homestead State Park

#5: It's good for you. Volunteering at Frontier Homestead State Park provides physical and mental rewards. It:

  • Reduces stress: Experts report that when you focus on something other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
  • Makes you healthier: Moods and emotions, like the optimism and joy you will feel when you are on the grounds of Frontier Homestead will strengthen your immune system.

Museum volunteer working our rope station.

#4: It saves resources.

Volunteering provides valuable service so more money can be spent on Park improvements.

  • The estimated value of a volunteer's time = $15.39 per hour.
  • Volunteering at FHSP = Priceless

#3: It brings people together.

As a volunteer you assist with special events that bring the community together:

    • Sheep to Shawl
    • Archaeology Day
    • Iron Mission Days
    • Christmas at the Homestead
    • School Groups

Volunteer teaching spinning.

 #2: You learn a lot.

You will learn traditional living skills and fun activities such as:

    • Candle Dipping
    • Spinning and Weaving
    • Rope making
    • Making adobe brick
    • Cow roping
    • Printing press
    • Throwing the Atl Atl
    • Panning for Gold

#1: You will make a difference.

According to Frontier Homestead State Park Manager Todd Prince, “With limited paid staff, our volunteers are integral to the success of the Park.  Our volunteers make it possible to host major community events such as Iron Mission Days and Christmas at the Homestead.  They also work closely with staff to provide outreach programs to area schools, and deliver living history experiences to our visitors. The modest benefits of volunteering at the Park are enhanced by the satisfaction one receives of making a difference in the quality of people's lives.”

To learn more, please call us at (435) 586-9290

We also have opportunities for tour guides.

Hands-on for all

Ready for a checkers match?

Spring has arrived at Frontier Homestead and with the warmer temperatures comes the annual opening of our self-directed activity stations. These very popular hands-on, interactive activities allow visitors of all ages to personally connect with the past like never before. Currently we have twelve stations including:

    • Playing dominos
    • Washing clothes – Frontier Homestead style
    • Building a miniature log cabin

Build your cabin or your castle.

  • Writing your name in the Deseret Alphabet
  • Challenging your friends and family to a game of checkers
  • Taking home your own handwritten postcard
  • Designing your own sheep brand
  • Learning to tie a variety of knots
  • Loading our full-size covered wagon
  • Panning for gold
  • Grinding sand in our Arrastra
  • Roping our Homestead cattle

Our self-directed activities allow you to spend as much time as you want at Frontier Homestead, engage with the past in an entertaining way, and above all, choose your own adventure.  Stop by and see if you have what it takes to be a Homesteader.

Next Time: Volunteers

There's gold (painted rocks) in them hills.