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Reconstruction Period Research Forum

Families Remember GWCarver

"Carver knew what to do with a peanut
Families celebrate life of extraordinary man; National Monument honors scientist, inventor.

"Reaves, 71, returned to the Carver National Monument on Saturday for the day honoring him, Carver Day, as she has ever since the annual event began in the 1950s.

"Carver's legacy was the theme at the monument west of this small Newton County city, his boyhood home, in a day of painting, workshops, gospel music and history. The monument was recently restored to the original size of the Moses Carver farm thanks to a donation of 30 acres.

"He lived a life and left a legacy so rich that many of us would be happy just to do a smidgen as well," said Cynthia Wilson, an archivist at Tuskegee University in Alabama, who spoke at a ceremony.

"While Carver's history took center stage, the festival featured workshops on preserving quilts, wood, photographs, historical documents and storytelling.

Park Ranger Dena Matteson, for one, planned to attend the photography seminar to learn what to do with hundreds of family photos.

"They just kind of represent your life and your past, and are important pieces for remembering history and events," she said.

"Reaves is the custodian of photos and books, passed to her by her parents, that trace her roots back to 1842, she said. What has surfaced in her family history is that her ancestors had the same values she's learned.

Event coordinator Ellen Cox said about 530 people had showed up by 3 p.m. That was around the time Park Ranger Derrick Glasco finally — well, almost — mastered Carver's recipe for "mock chicken," a deep-fried treat of sweet potatoes battered in ground peanuts.

Springfield Missouri Newsleader
July 25, 2004

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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