Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Family Living Center

The rope making demonstration is one of the favorites. When you are finished you get to keep the rope that you make. The fun thing about this portion is that you are a participant in the demonstration. The brethren prepare around 15,000 ropes during the long and boring winter months so that families can each take one rope with them. We actually used several of these ropes when I was serving with the pageant for the children to do jump rope games. They are very sturdy ropes.
The "cooper" demonstration. They show how barrels were made in Old Nauvoo. It was a long process and took many years to become a journeyman. I could explain, but it would take twenty pages of explanation, so I recommend all who would like to know how to make barrels should come to Nauvoo and learn how.

The weaving looms are the most amazing things in this site. It takes several hours to load the threads to make this loom work. There are over 200 threads on this loom that go between the pieces of cloth. They are operated primarily by the men because it takes great strength to do the weaving. The rugs that are produced on these looms are used in the sites here in Nauvoo. People are amazed at the beauty that comes from old rags and a lot of string.

The candle making demonstration is my favorite because it's so natural to talk about Jesus Christ as the "light of the world". We don't really demonstrate, but talk about how the candles would have been made. Girls were given the task of taking cloth apart string by string to make the strings you see hanging. Then they would braid several together to make the wick. Young boys were given the job of fetching small rocks to keep the string straight. The fat from the animal that had been killed was boiled several times to make the tallow. Then they would dip it, hang it, dip, hang it, until it had been dipped about thirty times. The difference in the candles' burning time was amazing. The ones on the right gave about 25-30 hours burning time. The ones in the middle about 10 and the ones on the left were hardly worth wasting a match on. They needed to be buried or put in a metal container because the mice thought they were a great midnight snack.

This is the cooking demonstration. Here we make bread in the bussel oven (to the far right of the picture). Fires are built in the oven daily during the summer. They are allowed to burn until you can put your hand on the brick above the oven for the count of 5. Then you open the lid, take out the ashes, place your arm in the oven. If you can keep it in for 15 seconds, you have a 350 degree oven, and it's ready to bake the bread. Bread is placed on the brick of the oven and allowed to bake about 20 minutes. Six loaves at a time can fit in the oven.

To the left, you see the fireplace. If you squint you can see the arm where they swing the pots out toward you so the dresses do not catch on fire. There are all sorts of "dutch ovens" in the assortment. I thought, "Now this is something I know how to do", but we don't demonstrate in the dutch ovens.

Wool making demonstration-- This is done by talking about sheering sheep. (I should have paid more attention when my niece was taking care of her sheep). Then we talk about carting the wool and preparing it for spinning. We talk about spinning, unless you are one of the three authorized spinners in Nauvoo, and they actually demonstrate it. It's pretty amazing to me. In this same place, we talk about coloring the wool using natural processes, and how to mix wool with linen to make Linsey-woolsey. That thing on the table is a weasel. When you have made 50 yards of wool, it goes POP--thus the phrase "Pop goes the weasel".

You can catch just a glimpse of the landscaping here in Nauvoo. This is the sidewalk from the Bakery to the Family Living Center. At the FLC, one can learn about life in Old Nauvoo with some hands-on experience and some demonstrations. It's a very busy place most of the time and it's fun to be actively involved in pioneer life.


Mr C said...

I love the flowers on the way to the family living center. Maybe I could come as a landscaper! I was happy to get your instructions on how to tell if the oven is at 350. We have a really problem with our ovens here in Mongolia. Now I know how to gage it! Thanks

REBYRYAN said...

I think I'll take my modern day conveniences!

Bressler Bunch said...

Mother (or father) please do not put your arm in the oven. That is not a good choice. You will hurt yourself. Didn't your parents teach you anything? : )