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Bicentennial Committee gives community look into life of the past

July 13 brought with it another installment of the monthly The Way Were Were series, organized by the Russellville Bicentennial Committee.

The committee, chaired by Franklin County Archives director Chris Ozbirn, has been hosting the series of historical demonstrations, exhibits and portrayals to inspire people’s interest in the history of Russellville and Franklin County.

Saturday welcomed presenters demonstrating everything from butter churning to wagon rides, as well as collectors of myriad historical artifacts, to the Russellville Canteen.

Doris Alewine demonstrated her skill with knitting and crochet, and Glenn Rikard showed his knowledge of and talent for chair caning and basket weaving.

Frank Richey shared his passion for making knives, a hobby he picked up after his retirement – one he said has taught him patience and encouraged him to make something that will outlive himself.

Barbara and William Bishop were both part of the days festivities. While William shared his expansive collection of antique glasses and jars, Barbara patiently churned milk into butter, in homage of her childhood doing the same with milk from her family’s one milk cow.

“Us kids would have to churn it to make butter and work the milk out of it,” she said. “We mostly used bowls to put it in back then, and my grandmother had a mold, and she would let us use her mold. We had homemade butter all the time when I was growing up.

“I love history,” she added. “People are going to forget. They are doing away with so much of our history; they don’t even teach what they taught back when I was in school anymore.”

Orland Britnell also shared his collection of old farm artifacts as well as cooking and household items.

The Way We Were began in May and will recur Aug. 10 and Sept. 14.