Senior Citizens Day added to this year’s Heritage Days

BROWNSTOWN — Gathered in the back of the livery barn on the Jackson County History Center campus, Ran Burge asked a group of senior citizens if they saw anything they recognized.

“Do you know what this is?” he asked, pointing at a wooden box with a handle on top.

None of them guessed it was a Champion washing machine that was used as early as the 1890s.

Another type of washing machine nearby was used to clean two shirts and four pairs of underwear, Burge said.

And did you know milk used to come in glass bottles? One of those from the former Thompson’s Dairy in Seymour was part of the display, too.

One of the residents of Lutheran Community Home in Seymour said her parents’ first home came out of a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog, as the old-time home appliances and other gadgets in the livery barn brought back memories for her.

The group continued around the livery barn, where they saw old blacksmithing tools, a couple of old carriages and other historical items.

“My mom used to go to school in a buggy like that,” a woman said while pointing at one of the carriages.

Then they headed outside the building to hear Myrna Ratcliff talk about her and her family’s past experiences of working in the circus. She stood in front of an old circus wagon complete with yellow lights around the top and had photo albums and scrapbooks for people to view.

Another stop was the Frederick Keach Heller Memorial Museum, where Burge and fellow history center volunteers Rosemary and George Weir took them through the themed rooms on the first floor. The displays revolved around music, war history and medical practice.

Finally, they wrapped up at the pioneer village, visiting a log cabin and a meeting house.

Friday was Senior Citizens Day during the history center’s sixth annual Heritage Days celebration. Residents of local nursing homes were invited to the facility to take a tour and interact with volunteers.

Heritage Days continued over the weekend with food, live music and campus tours. Proceeds from the food sales will benefit the history center, which is a nonprofit organization.

For information, call 812-358-2118 or search for Jackson County History Center of Indiana on Facebook.