Atlanta History Center Sheep Shed Winter Coats for Family Program

โ€“ Coming April 6, Sheep to Shawl Turns Cloth-Making Process into Immersive Experience โ€“

March 28, 2019

Starting with sheep having their fluffy winter coats sheared, the time-tested rural crafts tradition of cloth making comes magically to life in the heart of the city during the Atlanta History Center program Sheep to Shawl on Saturday, April 6, 2019.

The annual family program explores the cloth-making process though demonstrations and activities ranging from sheep shearing and carding to spinning and weaving. The best part, especially for younger guests, is getting to participate in this process that turns freshly trimmed wool into fabric, not just witness it. Gather the entire family for a full day of sheer joy that also includes open-hearth cooking, blacksmithing, candle dipping, and more at the 1860s Smith Farm.

Sheep to Shawl will again offer a dedicated kid-friendly zone just outside Swan House, featuring a petting zoo and rides on a trackless train.

WHAT:                 Sheep to Shawl, annual family program

WHEN:                 Saturday, April 6, 2019, 10:30 am to 4:30 pm

WHERE:               Atlanta History Center; 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA

INFORMATION: 404.814.4000;

ADMISSION:    Admission is included in the cost of general admission (and free to members). Purchase advance admission tickets online at

SUPPORT:           Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of Fulton County Arts Council. Additional support from the Poppy Garden Club.


Smith Family Farm activities

Shearing demonstrations
11:00 am, Noon, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm

The arrival of spring means haircuts for the animals at Smith Farm. This traditional activity demonstrated on our working farm invites visitors to watch as the sheep and angora goats shed their winter fleece.

Storytime with Mama Koku
11:00 am, Noon, 1:00 pm

Bring the kiddos for this interactive storytelling experience as Mama Koku spins beloved folktales.

Live Music! Flat Pickin’ Band
Front Porch at Smith Farm
1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm

Flatpickin’ Inc.’s sound can best be described as a country-folk style with an infusion of bluegrass. Flatpickin’ is Leslie Crum, vocals; Terry Austin, acoustic guitar and vocals; Paige Garwood, bass, acoustic guitar, ukulele, vocals; Kirby Black, acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, vocals; and Ryan McDonald, percussion (cajón, full drums).  Between them they have several hundred years of musical experience!

Open-Hearth Cooking
Smith Farm Kitchen

Ever wondered where those Southern comfort foods originated? Witness demonstrations and learn how the enslaved community shaped Southern food traditions that we love today.

Music and Resistance
Enslaved People’s Cabin

Discover the rich history of the djembe, shekere, and other West African instruments, and the role they played in America’s enslaved community. Learn about resistance through music by playing and singing along with our museum interpreters.

Additional Smith Farm ongoing activities

·         Blacksmithing
·         Candle dipping
·         Wool washing
·         Natural dyeing
·         Carding and spinning
·         Weaving
·         Woodworking

Museum Theatre Performance

Clay: Palm to Earth
Enslaved People’s Cabin Front Porch
12:15, 1:15, 3:15 and 4:15 pm
Duration: 20 minutes

This Meet the Past performance of Clay: Palm to Earth, by Atlanta History Center playwright Addae Moon, dramatizes the story of noted South Carolina potter Dave Drake. Born enslaved in 1801, Drake – who came to be known as Dave the Potter – was taught to turn large clay pots and learned to read and write, signing much of his pottery and inscribing the pieces with poems, revealing his literacy at a time when it was illegal for a slave to read and write. This performance explores the notion of literacy as a form of resistance, and its impact on the shaping of one’s identity.

After the performance, admire two major Dave the Potter works on display in the Atlanta History Museum exhibition Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South.

Activities outside Swan House

Cricket’s Mobile Petting Zoo
Ongoing until 4 pm

Be sure to stop by the petting zoo, complete with a variety of friendly barnyard animals.

Ride that train!
Ongoing until 4 pm

All aboard as kids get to enjoy a ride on the trackless train.

Food for sale

Souper Jenny

Souper Jenny, which shares a chic, funky café space with BRASH Coffee off the Atlanta History Museum’s main entrance, will be serving from its healthful menu. Around the corner, visit the inviting Atlanta History Center Museum Shop for gifts and books specific to Smith Family Farm and southern crafts.