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Christmas at the Old Stone House: Life in a simpler time

By Susan Shinn
sshinn@salisburypost.com
A lot of folks have tried to simplify their Christmas celebrations this year.
You can’t get much simpler than Christmas at the Old Stone House.
The annual celebration is set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, and noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 28. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for students.
Built by Michael Braun in 1766, the house will be decorated very simply, as it would have been in the pre-Revolutionary days ó with natural greenery, fruits, herbs and berries. Much of this material comes from the 27-acre property, says Kaye Brown Hirst, executive director of Rowan Museum.
Tours of the historic house will be available. With the help of costumed guides, guests can learn about Colonial-era crafts, musket firing, woodworking, weaving, candlemaking, open-fire cooking, music, children’s games, blacksmithing and more.
You can toss holly sprigs into the fire to burn your troubles away for the year, looking forward to a new year.
A core group of volunteers helps make the weekend at the Old Stone House even more special.
“We’re always looking for more volunteers,” Hirst says. “However, it’s a tough time of year.”
Volunteer Robbie Cochran has participated in the event from the beginning.
“I’m so much into the Colonial reenactment,” says Cochran, who works for the City of Salisbury. “I have all of my outfits.”
When the house is open for the season, Cochran serves as a docent there two Sundays a month. He has been thrilled to discover 18th-century artifacts on the property such as coins and buttons.
“I just love the history of the area,” Cochran says. “You don’t get many opportunities to be involved with an old stone house.”
Cochran will be cooking vinegar chicken ó his specialty ó as part of the celebration.
Cochran spends time at the house in the summer, cutting the grass, doing odd jobs, whatever Hirst needs, he says.
He loves to hike the property as well.
“You go down there, and you feel like you’re in a different time period,” he says.
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The Old Stone House is located a half-mile down Old Stone House Road off U.S. 52 in eastern Rowan County. For more information, call Rowan Museum at 704-633-5946.

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