CANTERBURY — Dave and Anne Emerson are planning for the 7th annual Old Ways Days, October 19-20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Ways Traditions, 418 Shaker Road, Canterbury.
Old Ways Traditions is part of the Ham Farm which was started by Joseph Ham, one of ten children of a Portsmouth ship carpenter. In 1785, 24 year old Joseph paid the first taxes on the 100 acre farm.
This year Dave and Kevin Fife, master stone wall builder, will reintroduce farm tours, "The Stone Walls Tell the Story of the Farm," 2 p.m.. both days. The farm has about every type of stone wall there is, and they all have something to tell us. Jessica Abbate and her large, strong, friendly pack goats (they can carry quite a load) will accompany the tour. They will also lead a walk on the trails at 11 a.m.
Weekend activities will involve visitors with early ways of work. The corn sheller will be working with the corn grinder, as well as the bean sheller and winnower. People are urged to bring their dry beans and corn. A crab (a portable capstan) is probably the only one on display and working in the state. It pulls a freight wagon, but was used to move buildings and ships.
Tools for Kids provides the opportunity to discover how easy it can be to use traditional tools such as hand drills, bit braces, several types of saws, spoke shaves with shaving horses and early laundry equipment.
There will be at least two steam engines running the lathe and, for the first time, an antique planer.
New blacksmith this year is, Zach Archambeault, who says "Blacksmithing has been my passion for a number of years, and in the Summer of 2012, I stepped away from engineering medical devices to be able to chase the iron and work at the forge full-time. Since then I have been demonstrating at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, creating ironwork using traditional tools, techniques and thrift to bring the craft into the contemporary lifestyle, and sharing the love of traditional designs with others."
Music will be by Homefolks Saturday at noon. Their style is country gospel with a bluegrass flavor. On Sunday from noon to 2 p.m, The Fiddling Thomsons, the unique duo of Ryan and son, Brennish, fresh from The Big E, will perform.
This award winning twosome perform lively tunes on a variety of instruments including banjo, accordion, flute, whistle, percussion, and, of course, fiddles. Friends and neighbors who show up will also be playing occasionally.