An old-fashioned work bee at Historic Webster Village


Hard at work. Martha Zeeb, who organized the event, pauses for a moment during the Work Bee at Historic Webster Village. photo courtesy of the Webster Township Historical Society

By Joanne Westman, Contributing Writer

An old fashioned "work bee" was held last weekend at the Webster Township Historical Society (WTHS). You might think that work bees went out with box suppers and barn raising, well, not at the Historic Webster Village. What is a "work bee" you ask? As Laura Ingalls Wilder put it, "If enough people think of a thing and work hard at it, I guess it's pretty much bound to happen, wind and weather permitting." Well, happen it did! The wind and weather held off as volunteers, young and old alike gathered for an old-fashioned work bee, much as it would have been held in the days of barn raising, quilting bees and box suppers.

Gathering under the direction of WTHS Director, Martha Zeeb and Peggy Harless, Volunteer Coordinator, volunteers were given tasks and got to work in making the Village a more beautiful and functional place. What was accomplished that day could not have been possible without the energy and commitment of students from the National Honor Society. Volunteers from octogenarians to teens, armed with rakes, shovels, paint and buckets, worked together in an atmosphere of learning, laughter and caring. It helped that homemade cookies were always available as the workday commenced.

The day began with digging truckloads of debris from a ditch along the road which carries water from the Village Green ensuring that it remains dry. Three of the Honor Society students painted a room at Crossroads while others worked outside of the building on landscaping the Crossroads Community Center and raking up debris on the grounds. The drive was repaired, and all the historic buildings received a thorough cleaning. The Village is now ready to welcome the community to a place of gatherings, music, and friendship.

Helen Keller puts it in simple terms why this old-fashioned work bee is so successful. "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." We did!!

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