Our Valley has several, amazing cultural and historical treasures. The Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village is, perhaps, the best of all! So, when our friends invited us to the annual Apple Days event, we jumped at the chance to participate…In costume, of course!
The only costume piece I made for this event was Emma’s pinafore apron. It started life as a pillowcase, and went on to become part of her Alice in Wonderland Halloween costume. But, more about that in a future post. For now, here are all the elements that went into putting these cute pioneer outfits together!
Emma’s dress was a great thrift store find! It’s hard to find long sleeve, longer-length dresses, and this purple, floral, corduroy number was perfect!
Elliott has worn these gray, twill pants for lots of costume looks, including during our most recent post: Hopi Harvest. It can be very difficult to track down pants like these, so I ended up buying them on eBay.
Vintage clothes formed the foundation of Eliza’s look. Her favorite color is red, so of course I HAD to snap up this darling, calico dress! The hand smocking around the collar is so sweet. The dress needed some minor repairs, and then it was good to go. The pinafore apron came from another vintage outfit.
Oliver has worn the pieces of this pioneer outfit on several other occasions, as well. The suspenders were purchased for the boys to wear in my sister’s wedding. They have come in handy, ever since. How ever did we function without them?
Oliver’s knicker pants came from this adorable, five-piece outfit set I found at the YWCA thrift store. Even better? The cashier told me that she thought they were over-priced, and gave them to me for $5, instead of $9. I would never have dreamed of asking her to do that, but I wasn’t about to turn down her offer!
Annika’s little ensemble is similar to Eliza’s, in that it is pieced together from items in my vintage collection. The dress was part of a “lot” that I bought on eBay. I’m tellin’ you, buying a “lot” can be the best way to snag a deal!
Okay! Where were we? Oh, yes. Pioneer Village! The ladies at the gate seemed a little confused about whether we were just visitors, or if the kids were reenactors. I’ll take that as a compliment!
One of the kids’ favorite parts of the Pioneer Village was the stretch of train track and a real train car that they could climb inside.
Train ride to the past? All aboard!
Sometimes, it’s nice to get a back view of the costumes. After this outing, I adjusted Emma’s apron shoulder straps so they wouldn’t slip down.
Perhaps the most unique installation at the Pioneer Village is the Stoffel Waterwheel. It was built to irrigate an orchard in 1897, and had just been restored in time for this year’s Apple Days festivities. It still turns!
The schoolhouse was probably Emma and Elliott’s favorite spot in the village. I mean, how many times is one able to not only see really old buildings, but to be able to go inside, handle items, and even participate in an activity? Usually places like these are cordoned off.
There were desks, slates, chalk, and all sorts of antique educational materials, inside. The museum even provided a delightful, young, “teacher”. She posed authentic math problems and spelling words of the period.
I’ve never seen the kids so excited about school. (And on a weekend, too!)
Some friends from church also filled the school desks. I loaned them costumes for the day, too!
Please try to ignore the Transformers Band-aid and the neon green admissions bracelet…
“Where’s Washington?” Even geography is more fun on a gigantic, old map!
Annika spied the water bucket and the ladle that would have been used by all the children, in lieu of a drinking fountain. You can practically read her mind. “Can I touch this? Okay, now I’m grabbing it…You’re not stopping me…Oh, goody! I have the giant scooper thing!”
And, here’s the proud, pioneer papa! (Annika was mad that I wouldn’t let her bring my caramel frappé into the schoolhouse.)
In the Saloon, the kids were wary of the peanut shells on the floor, and, as Elliott put it, the “creepy cowboys” playing cards. However, the presence of a piano made them feel right at home.
I wish I’d gotten more pictures of the outsides of the buildings, but I was too busy chasing small children! Each of these structures is a real, pioneer-era building from our region. One by one, they were carefully moved to the museum site.
Eliza’s not above taking a ride in the stroller, from time to time. I fondly refer to it as our “Conestoga Wagon”. It looks like one, and it creaks like one, too!
The kids loved running across the green, in between the rows of cabins. It was easy to imagine them really living here.
We were mesmerized by their intricate ceremonial regalia. Some wore Jingle Dresses (center), and one girl wore an antique dress that was spangled with carved elk teeth (right)!
“Where’s Oliver?” He felt a little too at home. He happily scampered between the train car and this general store, flashing his dimpled grin and sporting a gnarly black eye. Perhaps, that just added to the authenticity of his scrappy look.
I should have known I could find him cranking on a wheely thing. This antique cider press and butter churn could have kept Mr. Ants-In-His-Pants busy all day!
In case you thought this place couldn’t get any cooler…It has a mine!
“Say what??? There are still old mine shafts in the area? Pan faster, kids!” Unfortunately, the only sparkly stuff the kids found was “fool’s gold”.
Too late! I caught Annika in the act of tipping water all down her front. This seemed like our cue to wrap up our amazing day.
I hope we will be able to return, next year! The kids had a blast…And. our visit inspired me to make the girls new aprons and even some bonnets. I’ll write about that process very soon. Until then, happy trails, dear friends!