March 2017

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BLACKSMITHING DAY with Doc Watson, resident blacksmith, at the William Harris Homestead


April 1, 2017 brings Blacksmith “Doc” Day to the William Harris Homestead. Meet our new resident blacksmith, Doc Watson from 10 am to 2 pm on April Fool’s Day…no fooling!!

Doc will relate the history of blacksmithing in the 19th century and demonstrate the lost skills required for making or repairing iron or steel items.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, “the blacksmith played a vital role in his community and was generally accorded his due respect. There is hardly a facet of life his work did not touch upon. Indeed, without his skills, the prevailing lifestyle would have been extremely primitive. Most of the items a blacksmith made and repaired were either tools or other work-related items, such as harness fittings or ox yokes. In a culture where everyone, even children, had to work just to get by, it’s not hard to understand how important the blacksmith was.” (Foxfire #5, page 108)

Come and enjoy Doc, our cheerful, friendly, and brilliant Blacksmith!


TOMAHAWK HANK will be on hand to entertain and teach frontier skills and to show off Bo, the “Wonder” Horse (we always wonder where he is when we arrive at the Homestead…)
KAT will be baking bread, bring some butter and jelly!


CLAUDINE NICKENS and friends will entertain with their dulcimers, playing toe-tapping old-timey and new-timey tunes for our enjoyment!


HAYRIDES and Crafts demonstrations, and
free doughnuts, while they last!

! Celebrate Spring at the Homestead !

Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a beautiful day at the historic
William Harris Homestead.
Adults and children over 5 — $6.00
Seniors (over 60) — $5.00
Under 5 — FREE

Doc Watson enjoying the skills and thrills of blacksmithing!
“An-vil” you come to meet him? We hope so on April Fool’s Day!

The William Harris Homestead received a generous grant from the Walton Foundation, Inc. to provide a handicapped-accessible bridge over the Harris creek which leads to the Harris Spring. The spring was a source of pure, clean water for the Harris’ in the early 19th century. Many thanks to the Walton Foundation and to Scott Cherry for his design and construction. We are calling the new bridge, “The Bridge Over Bubbled Waters.”

In 2016, The William Harris Homestead also received a very generous grant from the Charles M. Walker Foundation, Monroe, GA, to help with the heritage education at the Homestead. The Watson-Brown Foundation, Athens Chapter Junior Board, presented a grant for continued restoration of the front and back porches of the log house and for window glass replacement from modern glass to antique crown or crystal glass, which was used in window construction in the 19th century. Also, the Iris Garden Club, Atlanta, GA. gave a landscaping grant to the Homestead Foundation. Many thanks from all of us at the William Harris Homestead for the support and belief in our mission to serve as a cultural and educational center dedicated to the advancement of heritage, agricultural and environmental knowledge.
The Walton County Soil and Water Conservation District is a valued partner of the William Harris Homestead Foundation. Under the guidance of Catherine Reuter at Soil and Water, twelve interesting and informative outdoor signs are completed and ready to be mounted on posts and erected at various sites around the Homestead property. These signs relate much information about agriculture and environmental issues concerning farming in northeast Georgia. What a great addition to our heritage education at the Homestead! Many thanks!

A Day in the 19th Century spring field trip program begins in March. Check out the calendar on the website for schools attending. The William Harris Homestead is open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, from 10 am to 2 pm.
Visit and Volunteer!