Colonia Spring Frolic opens Old Stone House season

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 20, 2012

The Rowan Museum celebrated spring and the re-opening of the 1766 Old Stone House in grand style on Saturday, April 7, with several hundred guests and 37 costumed volunteers.
The Carolina Colonial Dancers of Greensboro provided music and dancing for guests throughout the festivities. Stephanie Muff demonstrated spinning and dyeing natural fibers during the day.
Guests enjoyed dipping candles and dyeing eggs with natural dyes from violets, poke berries, onion skins, beets and more. Scrag-end ham soup was cooked over the open fire (guests had no idea there were dandelion greens in it) and served to all along with rosemary cookies.
The museum’s executive director, Kaye Hirst, related that our ancestors in the spring would cook soup with a ham bone and the left- over vegetables from the root cellar: carrots and rutabagas, maybe potatoes, with some dried beans and fresh dandelion greens for the pot.
Boni and Scott Lowry brought their goat and chickens for the youngsters to enjoy. Clyde shared herb lore and gave guests, especially the children, cut branches of wild cherry with which to brush their teeth as their colonial counterparts would have done. Robbie Cochran, Old Stone House volunteer, had a spit set up with a roast over an open fire, and he, along with Jerry Brown and Bob Price, continually kept folks jumping as they fired their long rifles. Children romped through the yard and along the wooded trails and through the creek. No one stayed clean for very long. Steve Martin, woodworker, shared colonial woodworking, while Ron Willis regaled all with back country living stories. Youngsters rolled hoops, and the four Walters’ children (their father Chris is an Old Stone House staffer, and a history teacher at Carson High), running barefoot all day, kept playing with the opossum that Clyde brought. He also brought frogs from the creek for all other kids to enjoy petting.
Folks dipped candles, played games, toured the house, wove on the loom in the house and spun wool.
So…in eastern Rowan County, the arrival of spring has been officially and duly heralded, and the doors of the Old Stone House are once again opened wide to welcome guests until November.
For more information on the Old Stone House, contact the Rowan Museum at 704-633-5946 or email
The Old Stone House, built in 1766 by German immigrant Michael Braun, is located a half mile off Highway 52 in Granite Quarry. It is open Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 1 – 4 pm, April through November. Scheduled group tours are available as well.