Welcome To Pilgrims and Pioneers!

After many years of researching my family geneaology I have been lucky enough to discover actual information about my relatives that lived in the Pilgrim Era and the Pioneer Era- while many people also have realtives from those eras- many do not know their names or where they lived- actually seeing the proof in print makes you much more aware of who they really were.
After discovering these relatives it of course made me curious to learn more about the eras that they lived in and what their lives were like as, the history I learned in grade school had long since been forgotten.
I decided to start this blog for others who are also interested in these eras.
Some of the information here will be actual facts about my realtives and some will be information about the eras in general that I have found on the web.
I hope you will enjoy traveling back in time with me!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Christmas Sneak Peek!!

It is hard to think about Christmas in July but when you create you have to think ahead!

Several years ago my husband & I made a lot of these stockings to sell at craft shows- he did the cross stitching and I made them into the stockings.

I ran across the patterns today while I was cleaning out the craft room. I then decided we should do them again. So the next few days will be spent taking inventories of the supplies needed and preparing to start stitching. I hope to have them on the website in late October or early November.

Stay tuned!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Homemade Cheddar Crackers

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups flour - sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup monterey jack cheese - shredded
1 cup colby jack cheese - shredded

Preheat oven to 400°.
In a mixing bowl, stir the dry ingredients and then cut in the butter to resemble the consistency of cornmeal.
Blend in the cheeses with a fork until well blended.
Shape into 1 1/2 to 2 inch rolls.
Chill for 30-40 minutes in the refrigerator and then slice each roll into slices approximately 1/4 inch thick.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for approximately 10 minutes.
Remove from cookie sheet and let cool.
Store the cooled crackers in an airtight container.
Freezes well.
*These crackers can be made crispier by slicing them thinner before baking.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Some Things Never Change

The following article was posted in the Tampico Tornado newspaper in 1896- it appears there has always been scammers in the world!
July 25, 1896- A Shrewd Trick- Marquette, Mich., July 18 - It has developed at the custom house here that this country is being flooded with low grade teas through the ports of Sault Ste. Marie and Port Huron. These teas had all been rejected at New York and Boston on account of their inferior grade, but were promptly repackaged and worked into the country through the above named ports, where there are no expert testers and appraisers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Contest Winner!!!

Tonight my hubby drew the name for the contest- and the winner is.......
Holly Kurtz! Congrats Holly!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My GGGrandfather-The Pioneer Ice Man

When my gggrandfather John Ellis Shere first came to Yorktown, Illinois from Albion, New York his occupation was an ice man.

Blocks of ice were purchased from the iceman to place in the wooden ice boxes that pioneers used. There was a metal compartment inside the wooden chest type box that held the block of ice. There was a tube attached to a drain that sent the water from the melted ice to a tray underneath the ice box.

This picture is of an antique wooden ice box- today they are a highly collectible, expensive antique.

Ice was sold by the pound and was chipped off of a big block with a chisel and ice pick and carried to the customers house with a big set of tongs- ice tongs.

Like the milk man the ice man was in great demand in pioneer days!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another contest!

Tammy has a contest for a pair of prim shutters on her blog- go take a peek and enter

Friday, July 18, 2008


I just realized that last Tuesday I had made my 100th blog post here on Pilgrims & Pioneers!

I can't believe it has all gone so fast!

To celebrate I am having a contest.

The winner will receive one of our Prim Prairie Pantry cake tarts in our wonderful Grandma's Cinnamon Buns scent! This is a big 2 oz tart that will give you many hours of scented melting pleasure! This cinnamon scent is super strong! and the tart is made from pure soy wax ( not a parasoy blend).

To enter just email me at prairieprim@comcast.net with Contest in the subject line.

Tell me what your favorite post has been since my blog started.

All emails will be entered into the drawing- only one email per person please.

Contest will end Thursday July 24th.

Good luck to all who enter!

Prairie Bonnet Update

Last Saturday I started work on another prairie bonnet with the hopes I would have finished by the end of the week. Well after that post my husband unexpectedly is going to have a minor surgery on Monday- we have to travel 60 miles one way to have this done and will invlove both Monday and Tuesday. Although I took a little time to work on this bonnet tonight it certainly will not be done by the end of the week.
Stay tuned though as it will be done soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blog Awards x4! Wow!

Yesterday I was the proud recipient of 4 blog awards!. I am so thrilled and flattered!

They were from:

All these great ladies have very interesting blogs and are very talented- go take a peek for your self!
The rules for receiving this award are: 1) Put the logo on your blog. 2) Add a link to the person who awarded you. 3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs. 4) Add links to those blogs on yours. 5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

I am passing this on to the following blogs- they have some great and varied reading! Guaranteed to keep you busy for days
My thanks to everyone that gave me this award!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blog Awards

Today I received 4 blog awards! I was so honored and thrilled but in the middle of posting and passing on these awards my key board decided to quit working! Could not type a word! I have finally got it going again but it is late here and I have to work tomorrow (ugh!) so I will have to post it tomorrow.
My apologies to everyone!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Antique Quilts

As I was browsing the web the other day I came across this site

This is an early wool quilt.

To view more antique quilts go to

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Prairie Bonnet coming soon!

It has been so long since I have had time to sew! But tonight I have made a start on another prairie bonnnet.
This one is from a soft navy and tan repro Civil war print fabric. I promise I will try to have this finished by the end of the week!
Stay tuned!!!

Pioneer Times Video

This video shows children dressed in period costumes explaining and demonstrating pioneer life in Ohio.
They really do a pretty good job- nice to see young people interested in the history of America!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I have gotten an Award!

I have gotten an award for my blog from Chrissy at http://www.theprimitivecornishhovel.blogspot.com/

She has a wonderful blog so make sure to visit her!

I am going to pass this award to:

Rondell at www.rondell-tomatoecreek.prims.blogspot.com







Once an award is received the rules are as follows:
1/ Put the Logo on your blog.2/ Add a link to the person who nominated you.2/ Nominate up to 7 other blogs.3/ Add a link to those blogs on your blog

These ladies all have great blogs! So make sure you visit them!!

Churning Butter

Making butter is done by agitating cream until it turns to a solid- butter. Many different types of vessels have been used to do this over the centuries.

I think the most common churn that most people recognize it the dash style churn like the one shown in the photo.

In the 1800's glass jars with a hand crank attached to paddles inside the jar made churning butter a little easier.

You can churn your own butter by placing fresh cream( The temperature should be 60 degrees)

in a jar and shaking it until butter forms- shake at a rate of one shake per second- a clean marble placed inside the jar will hasten the process.

I think that young children would find this a fun activity- a group of children could take turns shaking the jar- to avoid arm fatigue!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Garden Supper! MMMM!

Tonight we had fresh green beans bought at our local farmer's market that I sell my candles at.
I cooked 1 1/2 pounds of them in a large can of Sawnson's chicken broth- added onions, potatoes, and Hillshire Farms smoked sausage cut into bite size pieces- I think the sausage flavors the beans better than bacon.
Served it with corn muffins and now we are feasting on fresh cherry cobbler. I even pitted and cooked the cherries.
I have felt so domestic tonight- not to mention the fact that I had a great home cooked meal!
All of my grandmas would be proud!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yorktown General Store

This is a picture taken of the Yorktown General Store in Yorktown , Il.

The photo is not dated but I am guessing it is from the early 1900's.

I do see electric poles and wires in the photo and next to the wagon is a bicycle.

Documentation has been found by the stores current owners that my ggggrandparents Eunice & Withcher Dow once owned the store in the 1800's and on the othere side of my family a small ruby glass pitcher given away as a promotional item lists my great uncle William Pierceson as the proprietor of this same store in the early 1900's.

Over the years this store has changed hands many times and has been a general store, a hotel, had gasoline pumps out front, an apartment house, and then sat idle for many years.

4-5 years ago the present owners restored the original tin ceilings and hardwood floors and put in an antique glass & wood candy counter. I was in the store after it was renovated and it was wonderful!

The store opened with penny candy, soda pop, hand crafted items ( including some hand crafted primitive furniture), and fabric. Also a few small tables and chairs so customers could sit & chat over coffee or iced tea.

I bought a lighted salt box house and star tin cannisters and some fabric and was quite pleased with my purchases.

The owners both worked other jobs so the store was only open on the weekends in the summer and fall.

Alas it was the only seaon that the store was open. I am not sure why but perhaps Yorktown has such a small population and Yorktown sits in an area far away from any main high ways.

I do know they had asked the state of Illinois for a sign on the main highway to direct more people to the store but were denied. That is such a shame as in my mind pieces of history like this should be preserved, shared and enjoyed. Too bad the state of Illinois and the community surrounding Yorktown just didn't get it.

Civil War Re -enactment

There will be a Civil War re-enactment at Channahon, Illinois on October 18-19 ,2008.
To learn more about this and to see some photos form last years re-eanctment go to
According to the website this is one of the biggest re-enactments in the state withh over 500 people participating.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!

The Declaration of Independence

Wishing all of you a happy holiday as we celebrate our freedom!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Le Clair, Iowa- the birthplace of Buffalo Bill Cody

My husband frequently has dr. appointments in Davenport, Ia- about 60 miles away from home.

The trip there and back is made partly on I-80.

Many times I have seen the signs for the historical site that is the Birthplace for Buffalo Bill Cody at Le Clair, Iowa. Today coming home I once again saw the sign. Since we will probably never take the time to stop there I decided to see what I could find on the interenet.

Buffalo Bill Cody was born in 1846 in Le Clair, Iowa. After the death of his father his mother moved the family to Kansas in 1857.

At the age of 12 he worked for a wagon train going to Fort Laramie, and at age 15 rode for the Pony Express.

He spent time in the Civil War and became famous for his amazing scouting abilities. In 1867 he began hunting buffalo for the Kansas Pacific work crews earning him the name" Buffalo" Bill.

To read more about this famous ( and view more photos) man including his Wild West Show with "Wild Bill Hicock" and Annie Oakley go to http://www.bbhc.org/

Prairie Wild Morning Glory

Prairie  Wild Morning Glory

Prairie Phlox

Prairie Phlox

Prairie Sundrops

Prairie Sundrops

The Famous Rock!

The Famous Rock!
Plymouth Rock dated 1620

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation
The Village

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation
A Keeping Room