A brand new monthly event taking place at the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture will give families a chance to step back in time and learn more about 18th and 19th century Texas.

Dubbed “A Day in 1800s Texas,” the event will take place every second Saturday of the month, and will feature history re-enactors and activities for families and kids to try out. The first event took place last month in June, with the second one taking place this upcoming Saturday, July 13. 

The idea came from Carol Potter, a living historian who has been present at the museum every Friday and Saturday for the past three years along with fellow living historian Chuck Jones. Potter said they wanted to draw more awareness about the museum and what it has to offer.

“We’ve been brainstorming ideas to get more people out to the site for a while now, and we do Folk Fest, but nothing else really big out there during the year,” Potter said. “We do the living history bits every Friday and Saturday, Chuck and me, but a lot of sites will have an event once a month to bring people out.”

The Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture definitely was a great candidate to host such events, Potter said.

“We have this scheduled for every second Saturday through May, and we’re hoping to really grow it over the next year,” Potter said. “These events will be fundraisers for the museum, so they are free to attend but donation jars will be set up for anyone who wants to donate to the museum.”

The first event in June featured a cannon school, during which attendees were shown cannon safety and had the chance to practice firing a cannon, said Jones. 

“We taught everyone cannon safety first, because it can be very dangerous, and we wanted to make sure they were doing it safely,” Jones said. “We love showing people anything about the past, and weapons seem to be a really popular topic of interest.”

Next week’s event will feature the debut of Potter’s husband’s broom shop, selling and demonstrating the making of late 1700s, early 1800s brooms, Potter said.

“My husband is a retired living historian, but he still makes brooms and is opening up his own broom shop that makes period-correct brooms from the late 1700s, early 1800s,” Potter said. “He makes them and sells them, and I promise you they work better and last longer than any broom out there on the market.”

Potter said she will also be cooking up some grub the old fashioned way for interested folks.

“This month we’ll be doing the typical Fourth of July foods, so hot dogs, potato salad, a homemade apple pie — but all made on traditional cookware and in traditional ways, so long as that all gets cleared with the Health Department,” Potter said. “I’ll have the chuck wagon set up with meals for a nominal fee from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again that money will go to the museum.”

Weaving demonstrations will also be given by Jones, Potter said. 

“We will also have some vendors coming for that event next week, we’ll have a leather crafter, a woodworker, he is very hands on with the kids and lets them try it out — and with adults as well,” Potter said. “He knows how much people enjoy trying stuff out. We’ll also have a vendor who makes goats milk soap and lotion.”

The events will be free to attend, but donations will be encouraged, Potter said.

“Any living historians that participate donate their time, so they do that all on their own dime and with their own time, because they enjoy educating the public,” Potter said.

The event Saturday will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“If it’s hot, we may start wrapping things up at 3 p.m.” Potter said.

Families are welcome to bring a picnic lunch as well, if they choose, Potter said. 

“The Texas Museum of Handmade Furniture is such a lovely site, and we hope these events will also get more local people out and aware of the museum because it’s such a hidden gem of New Braunfels,” Potter said.

The museum is located at 1370 Churchill Drive. For more information about the museum, visit www.texashandmadefurniture.com or call 830-629-6504.

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