12/16/07 — Waynesborough celebrates old-fashioned Christmas

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Waynesborough celebrates old-fashioned Christmas

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 16, 2007 2:03 AM

Ten-year-old Chase Summerlin was one of the 500 or so visitors who celebrated Christmas 1800s style at Waynesborough Historical Village Saturday.

Chase snacked on goodies in the Visitor's Center waiting with his grandmother, Joyce Howard, for Santa Claus to arrive. Inclement weather kept Santa from being able to land at Waynesborough, but he spoke to the children on a speaker phone in the Visitor's Center.

Chase and his grandmother come to Waynesborough from their home in Seven Springs any time a special occasion is going on in the village.

But this Christmas in the Village was better than all the others, Mrs. Howard said, because they got to catch the blacksmith.

"He made me a dinner bell and him a key chain," she said.

The key chain in the shape of a leaf glistened in the light with a golden tint.

"We've been in each building. We enjoy it," she said.

A large group was listening to storyteller Edith Holloman in the Hatch House, and the Old Country Store was filled with browsers. All of the buildings had volunteers in them wearing period costumes, telling about their building and how it was used in the 1800s.

But Chase's favorite part of the village was the blacksmith shop, where Andy Anderson gave several demonstrations as onlookers basked in the warmth from the fire.

Anderson cranked the bellows by hand to add more air to the flame as 11 onlookers, mostly children under 10, gazed at the glowing metal.

"I'll show you just how hot this metal is," Anderson told the crowd. "When it's the same color as the fire, it's ready."

He banged the metal on the anvil and sprinkled it with Borax.

"This isolates it from the fire."

Kim Zimmerman of Dudley and her three sons hovered in the doorway to the blacksmith's shop, waiting for the small sea of people to part and let them in.

"We were here during Summerfest, and he let them turn the crank to make horseshoes. They still have those horseshoes, and they still play with them," she said. "They love it out here."