Day before yesterday I went to the Celtic Festival at the Genesee Country Village and Museum, a fantastic living history museum in upstate New York.
GCV&M is a brilliant place. If you find yourself in the area it is well worth a visit. Basically, they have painstakingly relocated pioneer- to Victorian- era houses from the surrounding area. Volunteer craftspeople carry on traditions from maintaining and using the antique printing press to running the blacksmith’s shop, from baking traditional cakes in traditional kitchens to growing hops and brewing beer. It’s an impressive, functional, historic village. I visited once or twice in elementary school and I was sure I was remembering it through rose colored glasses. I most certainly wasn’t. It’s even better than I remembered!
I’ve been back a few times and I’ve found it’s a fantastic place to take photos. My favorite place is the printing shop. That’s because I’m a nerd and I just love seeing their working printing press in use. Plus the type faces they have–amazing!
It’s so easy to see how presses were revolutionary (imagine hand copying books) but my gosh, the amount of work that goes into printing just once page. To think that the local weekly paper at the time that press was made (1800-something) cost just $2 for a one-year subscription! Oh dear, I appear to be nerding-out.
I digress. They really do have amazing craftspeople, as I said. From cobblers to coopers, I just love the look of their workshops.
They do hold special events from time to time. I’m looking forward to the Civil War reenactment this July. Yesterday was the Celtic Fair. Not quite as Celtic as I’d expected–more properly Scottish. Still it was a ton of fun hearing bagpipes as I toured the village.
It also meant ALL the ‘exhibits’ were open, so I finally got to see the potter making the pottery they sell in the shop. He was quite impressive!
There was also sheep sheering. I’m not sure what was Celtic about it, but it was interesting to watch. And I believe they do use the wool to spin their own yarn during spinning demos and then use in related demos. (That reminds me, if you go, bring cash. A lot of the exhibitors will sell their wares. For $3 you can make a tinware ornament or buy some papers from the printer. For substantially more you can purchase a skein of the most beautiful hand-dyed yarn or a piece of pottery.)
I could gush more if you’d like, but I don’t have anything else specific to say. If you have any questions about the photos below or about GCV&M (or typefaces), I’ll answer them; if not I’ll let you look at my pretty photos in peace!