The Dryden community will once again be celebrating its heritage from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Homestead Heritage Fair Day. The event will be hosted by the Dryden Town Historical Society at the Southworth Homestead on 14 North Street.
“It’s to highlight the heritage of the Town of Dryden,” Dryden Town Historical Society President Craig Schutt said. “But also try to highlight some of the newer partisan and those kinds of people, and of course the agricultural heritage of the town through the [Tompkins County 4-H Youth] and their animals and demonstrations.”
The celebration will feature several attractions from the community’s past: spinners turning sheep fleece into yarn, a blacksmith working at a forge, sheep shearing demonstrations and chair caning.
In addition, the Cornell Raptor Program will be in attendance showing off its array of birds of prey. There will be a falconry demonstration, which is a form of hunting of wild animals in their natural habitat with the use of trained birds of prey. A presentation on beekeeping by the Honey Factory, a local business located on 802 Daisy Hollow Road, will also take place. This year’s event will also include some new attractions, such as woodworking demonstrations by locals such as Gene Ritter.
“Gene Ritter makes cutting boards and all kinds of nice things on different types of wood,” Schutt said.
Visitors will be able to enjoy live music from groups like the Back Pages – a Maryland-based quartet featuring Henry Smith on guitar, keyboards and vocals; Roger Owens on guitar, vocals and guitar synthesizer; Ron Campbell on drums, vocals and percussion; and Joe Stanisha on bass and vocals. The band mainly performs dance sets, concert material, unplugged sets or a mix of any of those three.
The Cortland Old Timers Band, a community concert band located in Cortland, will also be performing at the event.
There will also be a tour of the Southworth Homestead, which is one of the village’s first residency that was built by Thomas Southworth in 1836. Currently, it is the home of the Dryden Town Historical Society.
“There’s a lot of the original artifacts in there,” Schutt said. “It’s a museum, really. It’s truly a Dryden museum.”
“A lot of Southworth family generational artifacts are in there. Some paintings, some other articles. The historical society has tried to keep it as original as possible. We’ve had to do a lot of work on the building itself. Certainly, the interior [we] tried to keep it as original as possible and use the original artifacts there, so people can see and understand how people lived back then and through the generations.”
Schutt said it is imperative to enrich folks on the heritage of the area.
“To me, it means a lot because…my family has been in the town for generations,” he said. “[We] grew up here and lived here, so I think it’s important to highlight that past and show what’s going on currently too as we move forward through the years and generations.”