Starr Homeplace Cultural and Creativity Center is a local institution founded on celebrating history and the arts, and its annual Community Day being held Saturday, September 8 does just that.
Located 2 miles north of Oak Ridge, Starr Homeplace, founded by Joe Rolph and named for his wife Starr, is a museum and cultural center of sorts with many historical items and demonstrations. They have a letterpress printing shop, blacksmith tools, a grist mill and equipment, and many other antique items.
“We've got 19 buildings full of artifacts,” said Rolph.
Some of the biggest attractions are demonstrations by individuals practicing arts such as blacksmithing and woodworking. This is the main purpose of this institution. It is meant to be a place creative individuals can practice their arts, as Rolph's wife Starr enjoyed crafts as well.
“What we're really trying to do is bring all the creative people together,” said Rolph. “It's a place where creative people can come and meet other people with similar interests and everyone is invited to share their craft.”
Community Day is an annual event where people can come out and see various crafters do demonstrations and tour the grounds as well. It was started as a way to bring together the community and especially those interested in arts and crafts. It is an opportunity for people to share their hobbies and interests. Community Days occur on the second Saturday of April through October with the exception of August. This month's event will have many attractions.
“We will have a leather crafter, a blacksmith, a fellow building model airplanes, a fine art painter, a falconer showing his birds, and a number of other people doing interesting crafts,” said Rolph. “We also have three big antique engines we're going to be running.”
Community Day will last from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Entree fees will be $5 for adults and children under 12 get in free. Lunch will be provided and an $8 contribution is asked for that.
There will be plenty to see and do, and Rolph notes that its usually very nice on the grounds.
“We've got fans and plenty of shade and it's usually pretty comfortable even with the heat,” he said. “People usually have a good time and quite often stay a long time.”
Rolph looks forward to Community Day and invites anyone interested to come out, explore the grounds, and enjoy watching the various craftsmen at work.