If an old-fashioned enthusiast wanted to take a trip back in time, the place to visit would be Starr Homeplace in Oak Ridge this Saturday.
Homplace founder Joe Rolfe has been creating this old-fashioned plantation style settlement for the past 15 years for people to come and visit. These “Community Days” are on the second Saturday of designated months, April through October, with the exception of August.
Rolfe began the event 10 years ago in honor of his wife, Starr, who passed away from complications with diabetes.
“She was a fine artist and I was always surrounded by creativity,” he said. “I started it as a memorial to her.”
Fifteen years ago, Rolfe began moving buildings in from different areas in Oak Ridge. The Homeplace currently consists of one museum with 15 buildings on nine acres of land.
“The buildings are full of artifacts that I've collected through the years,” he said. “I'm always collecting new things.”
During the Community Day events, Rolfe invites people such as artisans, craftsmen, leather workers and woodworkers to come out and give demonstrations of their trades.
“This Saturday we'll have an engraver, a boat builder and a blacksmith,” he said. “The engraver will be engraving on things like guns, the boat builder will be working on some type of wooden boat and the blacksmith will be making knives out of railroad spikes.”
Rolfe said he's always open to new people coming out and giving demonstrations.
“We need other people to come and do a craft,” he said. “Sometimes we have people who do needlecraft and woodwork. If we have musicians come out, we always encourage them to play.”
Lunch will be served during the event Saturday for a small donation.
“We'll have ham and tomato sandwiches for lunch,” he said. “It's that time of year.”
Rolfe also invites people to visit upstairs in the barn to look at the selection of books that came from the Stone Bookstore, part of the old Twin City Mall in Monroe.
“We have several thousand books on sale as part of our fundraiser,” he said. “They're 20 cents on the dollar which means they're 80 percent off. Almost all of them are hardback and almost all of them are non-fiction.”
Rolfe wants to remind everyone that if it rains Saturday, people will be able to find shelter in one of the 19 buildings surrounding the museum.
“We always still have it [the event] if it rains,” he said. “People can tip-toe from one building to the other.”
Starr Homeplace will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 14. The Homeplace is located two miles north of Oak Ridge on La. 133. Admission is $5 and children 12 and under get in free.
To learn more or to get involved as a volunteer, call 244-5700, or visit the Starr Homeplace on Facebook and www.starrhomeplace.org.