Agriculture, military celebration set for Saturday at Hagood Mill

PICEKNS — Friends of the Hagood Mill will host a special “Agriculture and Military Day” concert at the mill site this Saturday, May 21.

The free event will feature musical performances by Pretty Little Goat String Band, delivering a fresh, driving, energetic take on old-time string band music. This five-piece group from Brevard, N.C., includes the driving and innovative bass fiddle work of J.T. Linville, the train-whistle, foghorn buck dancing of Tim Fisher’s fiddle, the cigar-box chunking mandolin rhythm and leads of Josh Carter, the charming percussion of Mallory Carter’s home-made washboard contraption, and Owen Groom’s fretless banjo sounds like water rolling off rocks. Everyone in the group trades off strong old-time vocal leads and harmonies. Just as musicians of the Southern Appalachians have done for centuries, the Goat Band creates their own music from old mountain ballads and fiddle music, while paying respect to the grand tradition. Pretty Little Goat String Band will be performing between 1 and 3 p.m.

Warming up the stage around 11:30 a.m. will be Dakota Waddell. Born and raised in Western North Carolina, Waddell is a musician who specializes in acoustic traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains. You can usually catch Waddell playing upright base with his band Nitrograss, formed with two-time national banjo champion Charles Wood. Waddell’s musical influences stem from all across the spectrum. Some of his greatest inspirations for banjo have been Mark Johnson, Ralph Stanley, Adam Hurt, Bruce Molsky, Cathy Fink, Dan Levenson, Dusty Lee Elmer, Doc Boggs and Wade Ward. Along with Nitrograss, Waddell regularly performs with acoustic groups that include Grits and Soul, Asheville-based Sanctum Sully, electric funk jazz rock power trio Max Gross Weight and a number of other artists and groups.

The gristmill and all other demonstrations will be running from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

This year’s Agricultural Celebration is co-sponsored by the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina.

Kids and adults are welcome to take part in a variety of activities hosted by the museum including proper milking techniques with “Clarabelle the milking cow,” hand grinding corn, operating an old-fashioned water pump, corn darts, and much more.

Local farms will be on hand selling live plants, vegetables, hand cut herbs and more.

Visitors won’t want to miss the opportunity to meet and greet with one of the Southeast’s premiere heirloom seed providers, Heavenly Seed LLC. This highly respected company will be onsite offering a variety of heirloom, open pollinated, and certified organic fruit and vegetable seeds for visitors to purchase.

Present on site for the Military Day Celebration will be the Military History Club of the Carolinas with military vehicles, historians and re-enactors. Cpt. Jim Bay, Calhoun Light Artillery and the Second South Carolina Regimental Rifles Volunteers will be onsite with an encampment of “War Between the States”-era soldiers, along with firing demonstrations of cannon and rifles.

The featured demonstrator will be gunmaker Don Bruton, who specializes in the creation of Southern long guns circa 1760-1780. Bruton will demonstrate how a “Boone Gun” was traditionally loaded, fired and utilized on the American frontier during this time period. He will also explain how these guns were created and give insight to the items carried within the typical hunting pouch of the mid-to-late-1700s.

There promises to be plenty to see and do and lots of fun. There is a $5 parking fee for the day, but admission is free to the Hagood Mill Site, as well as the Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site. All proceeds from parking support the Hagood Mill Site.

Food from the Gatehouse Restaurant will also be available on-site.

For more information, contact the Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 or visit