Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brush up on your historic broom-making skills at free Territorial Prison workshop March 18

From Wyoming State Parks:
The Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site in Laramie will hold a free workshop for the public and potential volunteers, 18 years and older, who are interested in the art of constructing 1890s brooms.
Featured Broom Historian, Mark Parsons, Berthoud, Colo., will conduct the “hands-on” workshop on March 18, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Participants will learn the basic methods of broom construction utilizing vintage and replica broom making equipment to create their own handmade broom for decorative or functional use. Discussion of the history of brooms and broom making will be included. All skill levels welcome.
“A broom is such an ordinary object and yet it can be very reminiscent of a simpler time.” Deborah Amend, superintendent of the Wyoming Territorial Prison said. “Brooms were a commonplace, functional item in every household. In 1892 the Prison, recognizing the potential revenue from the broom industry, began producing brooms commercially, using convict labor, and shipped them all over the United States, Hawaii and internationally as far away as Asia.”
This workshop is also offered to educate and train any new volunteers who would like to refine their broom making skills and do living history presentations during the site’s summer season by volunteering to work in the Prison Industry Building. Selected volunteers will receive appropriate uniforms, training and historical information related to convict industries at the prison.
For additional information or to register for the workshop call 307-745-6161. The Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, located at 975 Snowy Range Road in Laramie, opens for the season on April 30 and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until October 31.
FMI: Deborah Amend or 307-777-7878

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