Old Stone House offers historical perspective

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 1, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
GRANITE QUARRY — Some favor the food, others the demonstrations, but they all come to the German Christmas Celebration at Old Stone House for the history.
“We’re trying to show people, especially if they’re from here, how people celebrated Christmas several hundred years ago,” said Kaye Brown Hirst, executive director of the Rowan Museum and event organizer.
During the 27th annual event, held at the oldest structure in Rowan County, people can see woodworking, candle making and musket firing.
“I like learning about what happened and how they did stuff back then,” said Bethanie Stauffer, 10.
Decorated in traditional pre-Revolutionary style, the house is adorned with natural greenery, dried flowers, herbs, fruits and berries.
Hirst said when the house was built in 1766 Christmas celebration were “much simpler.”
Volunteers outfitted in colonial garb led tours of the home, providing interesting tidbits of history about the house and the time period.
Visitors can taste recipes from the past, with an assortment rangings from vinegar chicken to rosemary cookies.
“We’re giving people samples of 18th century food,” Hirst said. “Everything has been cooked over an open fire.”
Stauffer, who has attended the museum’s summer history camp for several years, said the potato soup with bacon was the highlight of the event.
For Ben and Susan Bernhardt the highlight was spending time with their grandsons.
They both stood smiling as they watched Tristan Cerda, 7, and Ethan Cerda, 5, make candles by dipping a string from back and forth between beeswax and water.
“I’ve enjoyed watching them interact with everybody,” Ben Bernhardt said.
Although the Bernhardts have attended the event before, this was the first time for their grandsons.
“We thought it would be a good outing for the kids,” Susan Bernhardt said.
The celebration will continue today from noon to 4 p.m.
Hirst said as the festivities wind down, this event is a good way to “slow down and relax.”
The Old Stone House is located half a mile down Old Stone House Road off N.C. 52.
Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children.
Sponsors for this year’s German Christmas Celebration are Susan and Edward Norvell and Wachovia Bank.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.