George Washington Carver National Monument invites the public to participate in Prairie Day on Saturday, September 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event is free of charge. Prairie Day is a celebration of life on a southwest Missouri farm during the mid-1860s and1870s, the years of George Washington Carver’s childhood.
Features include horse-drawn wagon rides through the prairie with a storyteller on board. Inside the visitor center, John Anderson will appear as “Brother John” with music and storytelling about African American life on the prairie from the 1860s & 1870s. Jack Farrow will appear as “Frisco Jack” with Ozark storytelling including The Legend of Little Owl by Mitch Jayne. Close listeners will hear references to the battle of Carthage and the bushwhacker gangs of the area. Under the big tent traditional music will be provided by Ripplin’ Creek, the Flyin’ Buzzards, Brown’s Mountain Music, Ozark Wilderness Dulcimer Club, Gary Kyger, Panhandle Slim, Dwayne & Barbara Smith, and others.
The Town & Country Quilters will host a quilting bee under the small tent and other quilters will demonstrate various quilting techniques. At the 1881 Moses Carver House history comes alive with candle dipping, Dutch-oven cooking, wool spinning, soap making, laundry washing, butter making, corn shucking, corn shelling and grinding, a chuck wagon, toys and games, and a kitchen garden.
Visitors will find interesting exhibits along the trail including a log hewer showing log notches most likely used on the Carver cabins. Near the Carver Family Cemetery will be an exhibit on 19th century burial customs, and an exhibit on edible & medicinal plants. Near the pond basket weavers will be at work, and there will be fun stations about woodland and prairie animals and birds. Kids will enjoy painting with natural dyes and earning a Junior Ranger badge. An exhibit near the site of the slave cabin will show Civil War medicine.
The Tri State Carvers Guild will demonstrate various wood carving techniques, the Missouri Department of Conservation will be on hand to discuss the benefit of prescription fire on the prairie, and the Neosho Fish Hatchery will present interactive exhibits.
Visitors are invited to enjoy the 17th Annual Gem City Days, September 11th & 12th at the Diamond Christian Church parking lot. The theme this year is “Looking Back”.
Diamond High School will host an all school reunion. For more information about Gem City Days please call 529-1372.The monument is located two miles west of Diamond, Missouri on Highway V, then south 1/2 mile on Carver Road. For more information, please call the park at 417-325-4151 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or visit the park website: www.nps.gov/gwca.