'Heritage Saturdays' features
18th and 19th century demonstrators
House receives funds
for much-needed repairs
Helen E. McKinney
CARROLLTON, Ky. (May 2006) Dinah Marshalls
mother taught her how to cane chairs. This is a skill she has never
forgotten, and she often shares it with others.
Its time consuming, and hard on the hands,
Marshall said of weaving. But she loves it, nonetheless.
Her mother learned to cane from a six-page Cooperative Extension Office
booklet when Marshall was a child. Her mother kept this booklet, which
is now about 35 years old. She has made copies of the booklet and uses
them to teach others about caning.
You pass things on, said Marshall. She has given classes
on weaving seagrass bottoms for chairs and stools.
Marshall is part of this years lineup for "Heritage Saturdays"
that begins May 20. The May event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the Masterson House, located on Hwy. 42 in Carrollton. A second Heritage
Saturday is scheduled for Sept. 16.
In its fifth year, this event will feature food and house tours by Port
William Historical Society President Nancy Jo Grobmyer. In addition
to Marshall, demonstrations will be given by spinner Rita Westrick,
basket maker Karen Browning, pioneer camping and dulcimer playing by
Wayne and Sharon Eggemeiers, Nina Stewart and others from a local quilting
group, butter churning by Grace Angotti and Maxine Lindsay, and a display
of Carroll County Historian Katherine Salyers personal scrap books.
Marshall finds satisfaction in taking something useless and turning
it into something useful. She discovers a lot of history in caning a
chair, such as where the chair has been for the last century. Once she
puts a new seat in it, the owner can use and enjoy it, perhaps passing
it on to their children someday.
Originally from Trimble County, Marshall said people are now looking
at older furniture and restoring it. A new seat will last 30 to
There are certain steps involved with caning, and it usually takes Marshall
25 to 30 hours to complete a chair. Although she doesnt sell her
work, friends often ask her to cane chair bottoms for them.
Marshall is very knowledgeable about what she does. People used to get
chairs like a kit, she said. Husbands would drill holes and put cushions
on the chair or their wives would cane the bottom of the chair. Chairs
used to be a luxury, she said.
Grobmyer said the purpose of Heritage Saturdays is to expose the
Masterson House to people. We have many visitors from other areas, more
than local visitors.
Run by the Port William Historical Society, the Masterson House is in
need of repairs. The historical society owns the home and has applied
for 501 C-3 status in the hope of receiving more grant funding. Wilson
Contractors repaired the bathroom and kitchen area last year. The home
now needs a new roof.
Carroll County Fiscal Court contributed $5,000 to the historical society
last year for upkeep expenses, said Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold
Tomlinson, Jr. He called the Masterson House a part of our history
and noted that the historical society has had a hard time financially
maintaining the home.
We are fortunate to have those who are so dedicated to preserving
our past, said Tomlinson. The home is just a part of what
we have here to showcase. There is a lot of history and background in
In the 1790s, Richard and Sarah Shore Masterson moved to Port William
from Masterson Station in Fayette County, Ky. Masterson was a surveyor
who owned more than 40,000 acres of land.
Slaves built the house, a two-story brick. Grobmyer said it is one
of the oldest two-story brick buildings still standing on the Ohio River
west of the Allegheny Mountains.
The historical society has worked on other projects in the county as
well. Two years ago they undertook the job of cleaning the Hawkins-Gaunt
Cemetery on Hwy. 42, next to the BP Gas Convenience Store, said member
It is one of the oldest cemeteries in the county, said Broberg.
Plantings were placed in the small cemetery and attempts were made to
locate the families of those buried there.
Visitors will get to experience a different time period while learning
of Carrolltons past on Heritage Saturdays.
For more information contact, Nancy Jo
Grobmyer at (502) 732-5786.
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