Sunday, August 12, 2001

Floods can't stop museum programs

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        SHARONVILLE — Heritage Village Museum is getting by these days with a lot of help from its friends in the aftermath of last month's flooding.

        This past week, the museum's final summer workshop, “Sheep to Shawl,” went off as scheduled. From learning how a sheep is sheared to finding new uses for old fabric, teen participants explored the textile skills of their pioneer forebears.

[photo] Jennifer Fearing, 12, of West Chester, inspects the knots in a wheat-weaving she made at the Sharon Centre at Sharon Woods.
(Dick Swaim photo)
| ZOOM |
        Using the drop-spindle technique, the teens twisted clean sheep's wool into strands of yarn. They colored the strands with dyes they produced from natural materials such as walnuts and onion skins. Then they wove the yarn into circle and tapestry designs.

        But “Sheep to Shawl” and two other recent educational programs would not have taken place without an outpouring of donations and volunteer support.

        On July 17, a creek in Sharon Woods flooded the basement of Hayner House, the museum's headquarters. Stored there were all the materials for Heritage Village's summer camps, including school and craft supplies and reproductions of antique toys.

        The overall flood damage to Heritage Village is estimated at more than $120,000. Those lost supplies account for about $3,500 of the total.

        The museum's insurance will not cover the damage to the building or any of the items destroyed by the floodwaters, said museum spokeswoman Crystal Ferrara.

        “Everything (for the workshop) either had to be given to us or we had to purchase it,” said “Sheep to Shawl” instructor Lynn Elzey.

        Heritage Village had long been stockpiling materials to use in its educational programs. Nine feet of water and several inches of mud destroyed the stockpile.

        “It will take years to replace what we have lost,” camp director Emily Roth said.

        Heritage Village welcomes donations of craft materials, educational supplies and lumber for future educational programs. Museum staff members said school tours scheduled for this fall will be offered as usual.

        For more information, call 563-9484.


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