Sixty-five youth from Ashley, Chicot, Desha and Drew counties traveled back in time this week to life on the antebellum Delta when they participated in a 4-H Quad Day event at the Taylor House on the Hollywood Plantation at Winchester.
The Taylor House, built in 1847, is the site of a current archeological excavation conducted by the Arkansas Archeological Survey under the leadership of Dr. Jodi Barnes, an Arkansas Archeological Survey station archeologist at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and Dr. Jamie Brandon, an Arkansas Archeological Survey station archeologist at Southern Arkansas University. Archeologists are currently looking to relocate structures associated with the Taylor House.
The youth learned about the lifestyles of the people that historically lived there. The learned what Civil War soldiers ate, sampling hard tack and Johnny cakes, and learned how pioneers cooked over fires using Dutch ovens and cast iron pots.
The 4-H members were also entertained with various games from the 1800s, including human tug-of-war, bird-in-a-cup, and hop-skip-jump.
After playing, the children learned about the prehistoric people of the Arkansas Delta during a hands-on-demonstration from Jessica Howe, a station assistant with the Arkansas Archeological Survey. Youth learned to throw river cane spears using Atl-Atl’s, attempted to drill holes using pump drills, and learned how native people would have survived.
After a lunch provided by the University of Arkansas-Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension through donations from Atwoods and Wal-Mart, the youth were invited to aid in the archeologists in field work. The kids put on gloves and proceeded to help screen for artifacts, learned how archeology happens in the real world, and in the end learned a bit about the history around them.
As the youth were leaving the site, one six year old was overheard telling his mother that he wanted to be an “Air Force Race Car Driver-Archeologist”.
If you have children who interested in participating in 4-H events such as this one, contact Hope Bragg with the Desha County Extension at 870-222-3972. 4-H is open to all youth between the ages of 5 and 19 without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, or any other legally protected status.