Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Year Of Food & Crafts: Crafting A Legacy

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you don’t have electricity or running water. Imagine that the town you live in has one store – a general store carrying only basic provisions and a small hodge-podge of household and farm goods. Of course, bigger cities might have a wider selection of merchants, but since you don’t have a car, getting there isn’t exactly convenient.  

Imagine that every item you own was made – not in a factory full of automated machines pumping out hundreds, or even thousands of items a day – but by the hands of a human being, using only his or her finely honed skills and a lot of elbow grease. The candles that light your dark evenings, the iron pot you cook your meals in, the jugs that hold your water and the shoes for your horse all came from the same place – a craftsman.

The way we live now is so fast, so mass produced, that it takes a lot of effort to really appreciate the fact that, for many of us, as little as two or three generations have passed since people relied on craftsmen to make the things they needed to get by. That may be why the hand of the craftsman is still so revered today – it’s in our DNA.

Blacksmith and Former Mayor of Silver Dollar City Shad Heller

Craftsmanship is a notion inextricably woven throughout the history of Silver Dollar City. Like a carefully spun thread, its presence has strengthened and beautified the fabric of our story. The park’s reputation as The Home of American Craftsmanship was forged by the hammer of the village smithy and made legendary by larger-than-life personalities like blacksmith Shad Heller. And, like all things made by the hands of passionate and skilled artisans, it has endured.

Mary Herschend’s vision for Silver Dollar City as a place to celebrate and preserve the heritage of the Ozarks region and its fine craft traditions lives on today. People still marvel at the power of the forge; they still appreciate the quality of hand-crafted items; and the stories of days gone by still resonate like echoes of the past through our collective consciousness.

During The Year Of Food and Crafts, Silver Dollar City is celebrating a legacy of craftsmanship nearly six decades in the making and honoring the folks who have, not only kept it alive, but continue to build it through their creativity, knowledge and attention to detail. We hope you’ll join us in 2017 and discover new heirloom treasures, new family experiences and a new appreciation of timeless traditions.

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