Off the Motorboats and to the Misery Whip
This August, the park’s interpretive team debuted Pioneer Palooza: Saturday’s dedicated to the Cove’s homesteading history. In attempt to give visitors a true, hearty homesteading experience, we were on a grand search to find traditional logging tools that could be demonstrated. Our friends at the Collier Memorial State Park and Logging Museum pitched in by providing us with an excellent set of swede hooks and a well-conditioned crosscut saw (aka the “Misery whip”). After some searching on our part, we managed to muster up a draw knife, hand-saw, and rotating hand drill to demonstrate as well.
The goal of this program is for visitors to understand the challenges that went into building a homestead from a 1860’s-1930’s era perspective, using only the tools that inhabitants quite possibly had available at the time. We compare the pros and cons of the tools to some of the power tools used today (chainsaw, cordless drill, etc.) and place imaginative scenarios so one could really think of all the different facets and back-breaking work that went into building a simple homestead, which the Cove has demonstrated on a very small scale.
Visitors have appreciated the new perspective, and even broke a sweat trying to saw one small section of log with a crosscut. Now imagine that, multiplied by 100’s more of the logs used to build a cabin. Now that’s some hard work, darn tootin’!