History will come to life today at Beaver Bay festival
How often do you get to see living history? On Saturday it will be commonplace, as craftspeople show off old-school trades at Beaver Bay's seventh Colonial Sugar on Snow. There will be about 30 demonstrators at the event, including blacksmiths, s...
How often do you get to see living history?
On Saturday it will be commonplace, as craftspeople show off old-school trades at Beaver Bay's seventh Colonial Sugar on Snow.
There will be about 30 demonstrators at the event, including blacksmiths, soap-makers, spoon-carvers and one crafty 16-year-old wooden bucket-maker named Ben Lattin.
Lattin, who began learning his craft in October at a workshop in Michigan, said making buckets is an intense process.
"It's a very exact craft," he said. "I enjoy how precise you have to be. ... I have always enjoyed working with wood."
Most of the tools for the process he made by hand and with the help of some friends. He did admit to buying one tool on eBay to help him in the process.
Lattin has to shave down cedar to a precise size so the pieces fit together tightly to become watertight. Rings of steel are used to hold the wooden pieces in place firmly.
His first attempt at a bucket was unsuccessful. "It was a bit more of a challenge" than he thought, Lattin said.
Buckets are not the only item Lattin wants to make. He has hopes of making oak barrels in the future, which would require more training.
He also has his sights set on another old-school craft. "I would like to go a little bit further with blacksmithing," he said. The buckets are likely destined to be more for decoration, but he suggests they could be used in a sauna. Lattin has hopes in the future of selling them through a Web site.
Hosted by Beaver Bay community members and led by the Lattin family -- Ben has 13 siblings -- at Wits' End Corner County Store and Bakery, the
event is a way to celebrate history.
Other trades being demonstrated are broom-making, spinning, weaving and more. There also will be mixing of medicinal
powder or comfit in an apothecary, grinding grain in a gristmill and pudding making.
There also will be games from the 1700s for children to play, corn-husking for fresh-baked pies, a family tug-of-war and wood splitting.
Oh, and what's sugar on snow? It's maple syrup warmed to a taffy stage and ladled over a mound of snow. Tradition calls for a bite of a dill pickle along with a donut and a cup of piping hot apple cider.