Gwinnett Historical Society Hosts 39th Annual Elisha Winn Fair
By: Katie Hart Smith | Staff Correspondent | Gwinnett Citizen
On Saturday, October 7, 2017, the Gwinnett Historical Society hosted the 39th annual Elisha Winn Fair held at the Elisha Winn House located at 908 Dacula Road, Dacula, Georgia.
Fort Daniel reenactors, Eli Stancel, and his children, Jude (three years old), Eleanor (five years old), and Gwinnett Historical Society Co-President, Beverly Paff pose for pictures in front of the Walnut Grove Schoolhouse. The circa 1875, one-room school was originally located next to Walnut Grove Church on today’s Highway 124 (Braselton Hwy).The Elisha Winn Fair is a major fund-raising event for the Gwinnett Historical Society. The family-friendly affair was well attended despite early morning mist and drizzle. There were a myriad of activities during the day that included, touring the home and observing Carol Adams weave fabric on the antique loom; listening to bluegrass and country music; shopping for handmade crafts, jewelry, and quilts from the variety of vendors; sampling home-made goodies; watching reenactors – volunteers from the Fort Daniel Foundation - demonstrate the use of muskets and various guns used during the 1800s; and hearing about Gwinnett’s rich history as Gwinnett Historian, Mary Long, and Gwinnett Historical Society’s Co-President, Beverly Paff, spoke with visitors as they toured the old schoolhouse. A variety of vendors sold hand-crafted creations, from hand-made lace, quilts, jams, and jewelry, to hand-split, white oak baskets.Native and exotic reptiles, consisting of snakes, chameleons, an alligator, and a tortoise named Elvis, were on hand. In addition, the property is home to an old jail, a cotton storehouse, blacksmith house, barn, a period garden, and a nature trail.Blacksmiths showcase their craft as apprentices and fair guests observe their techniques.
Gwinnett Historical Society members, Bill Baughman, Enuma Chigbo, and Co-President, Betty Warbington (L to R), sell books and Christmas ornaments to attendees.Betty Warbington, Co-President of the Gwinnett Historical Society, was thrilled to see the crowds attending the event. “What a wonderful beginning and a great way for Gwinnett to kick-off its centennial celebration. We’re excited for everyone to see this historical place. I love the fair. The property just comes alive.”
Fair guests were able to walk through the outbuildings on the Elisha Winn property to include this one-room jail. Tongue and groove construction and hand-made nails that penetrated the depths of the walls were utilized to prevent prisoners from escaping.The Elisha Winn House, built in 1812, is the birthplace of Gwinnett County, becoming a part of the county on December 15, 1818. The structure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and maintained by the Gwinnett Historical Society, is the oldest surviving building in Gwinnett and is considered among one of the oldest houses in Atlanta.
The Elisha Winn Fair showcased numerous bluegrass and country music bands and singers to include the Skillet Lickers, Dacula native and American Idol Season15 contestant, Josiah Siska, and the R&B Review featuring vocalist, Charesa Hulsey (pictured).The typically two-day affair was cancelled for Sunday, October 8, 2017 due to rain.