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Capturing Our Past

One Saturday a month, the Tobacco Farm Life Museum offers something a little extra for our visitors. Our Stepping into the Past Saturday Series brings history to life with demonstrations and displays of traditional arts, crafts, and trades right here on site and included with your regular admission. 

Sadly, this month's Saturday Series event has been cancelled and the museum remains closed to visitors on site due to COVID-19 and our desire to help stop the spread and comply with the Governor's Stay at Home order. We have also converted our May event to a virtual quilting class. For more information on that please visit:

April's planned event was to be a painting class, intended to teach participants a little about one medium used to "capture the past." Painting, and art more broadly, is one way in which history and culture is expressed and interpreted to others. Other ways of capturing the past include photography, oral histories, interviews, songs, videos, documentaries, writing, preserving artifacts and more.

Historians and museum professionals capture the past in many of these ways, but they are not reserved just for professionals. Individual citizens can capture their family history or local history for themselves through these means as well. What stories or moments have you captured through photography, art, or interviews?

Since we cannot have you on site at this time to capture our past through painting, we have linked some interesting documentaries about our history and culture below. These documentaries are from Folkstreams and represent one way in which our past can be saved and shared with others. We've selected some that feature North Carolina places, culture, art, and history. We hope you enjoy learning from these videos and we look forward to sharing the past with you in person again when it's safe to do so.

Spivey's Corner and the National Hollerin' Contest:

Crawdad Slip - Pottery in North Carolina:

Old-time traveling medicine show performers, filmed in Bailey, NC:

Lexington, NC cameraman and his Movies of Local People:

You might also be interested in this book in our online gift shop: Essays in Folk Art.

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