History Seekers actively involve participants in the skills and stories that were traditionally handed down from generation to generation.

​The West Volusia Historical Society provides interesting hands-on experiences for the youth of our community, and for adults who are young at heart, to help bring history - our shared past - to life.  Learning about the treasures of the past gives ​​a new perspective to view our lives today and to prepare for our future. 

Hands-on History
Programs for Youth & the Young-at-Heart

In keeping with the nationwide efforts to promote the safety and sell-being of our community, the Conrad Educational and Research Center is currently open only on a limited basis.  Reservations are required. CDC guidelines will be in place for these workshops with a limited number of participants spaced safely apart with masks required for all.
Handed Down - Basic Sewing 101 Workshop is now online

Fall Workshop Schedule

October 24  Sew What? From repairs to making your own accessories clothes and everything in between, it all starts with the basics of using a needle and thread.  This is a workshop for children.  If you have already taken one of our sewing workshops, you will enjoy new challenges here.  If you have never taken a stitch, this will jump start you to becoming a sewer!  Ages 8 and to 15. Time: 9:00 – noon.  Location: Conrad Center   Cost: Youth - FREE for WVHS members/$10 for not yet members

October 10  I Never Felt Better… Learn Wet Felting      What do yurts, bowls, and shoes have in common?  They can all be made using the ancient technique of wet felting. Wet felting is a process of using water to interlock layers of sheep or other animal’s wool and fiber and form it into a fabric.  In this workshop, we will wrap handmade soap in wool and felt it and create a sheet of felt using a variety of beautifully dyed Marino wool fibers.  We will get creative and do some fun experiments with wet felting! Adults are invited to this workshop as well.  The workshop is for young and young at heart! Ages 8 and up. Time: 9:00 – noon.  Location: Conrad Center   Cost: Youth - $5 material charge for WVHS members/$10 for not yet members.  Adults - $10 material charge for WVHS members/$15 for not yet members

September 19  Cute as a Button!       An exploration of the humble button throughout history. From functional to fashionable, buttons have been around for 5,000 years. In this workshop we will explore the simple round button, a bit of the history of buttons, and how we can elevate this utilitarian piece into a fun fashion statement.  We will make button jewelry and a button doll. Adults are invited to this workshop as well.  The workshop is for young and young at heart! Ages 8 and up. Time: 10:00 – noon.  Location: Conrad Center. Cost: for WVHS members - $3 for youth/$5 for adults; for not-yet members - $8 for youth/$10 for adults.

November 21  Monkeying Around        Sock monkeys have been favorite toys for decades.  In this workshop each person will be making their own sock monkey to take home by stuffing and hand stitching using traditional Rockford socks. The ability to stitch by hand is a prerequisite to this workshop for Ages 8 and up. Time: 10:00 – 12:00  Location: Conrad Center   Cost: $15 material charge for WVHS members/$20 for not yet members.  

November 7  Poking Around: Needle Felting        Working with natural fiber is an exciting experience!  We will be learning to dry felt wool and local alpaca fiber.  This is accomplished by the use of special felting needles to compress the soft and lofty fibers into a harden piece. We will use leather finger covers for protection but be aware that this involves sharp needles. Ages 8 and up. Time: 10:00 – 12:00.  Location: Conrad Center   Cost: Youth - $10 material charge for WVHS members/$15 for not yet members.  Adults - $10 material charge for WVHS members/$20 for not yet members

December 5  Holiday Gift Making We will be making a variety of small gifts and will have wrapping materials so that children can create gifts to give for holidays. Further project details will be added later. Ages 8 to 15. Time: 10:00 – 12:00  Location: Conrad Center   Cost: Youth – FREE for WVHS members/$10 for not yet members.

September 12 ECHO Rangers program   This workshop highlights the "E" in ECHO. Children will explore the ENVIRONMENT of the orange grove and the Turp Camp. They will learn facts about growing citrus, pick an orange off a tree and taste some fresh orange juice. They will learn how to notice "cat-faced" trees and hear about the sticky life in the Turp Camps. Time: 1:30 - 2:30 pm. Location: Conrad Center. Cost: free to children who register for the ECHO Rangers program. Click this link for information.

November 7  ECHO Rangers Program  This workshop highlights the "C" in ECHO. Children will explore what life - the CULTURE - was in DeLand a hundred years ago. What did they have that we have? What do we have that they had? Make a list and then make an imaginary person! You will have to think of a name, what they wore, their age, where they lived, all about them. Time: 1:30 - 2:30 pm. Location: Conrad Center. Cost: free to children who register for the ECHO Rangers program. Click this link for information.

November 28  Christmas in Bloom  Join us rain or shine for a delightful holiday event under a huge and magical pavilion! Vote for your favorite gingerbread house entries for the People's Choice; purchase yummy treats or place an order for your holiday parties at our Bake Shop; choose from a wide variety of gifts handmade by our own Makers' Guild in their Gift Shop; have fun watching craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills. The event is free and open to the public.  Time: 10 am - 5 pm. Location: Select Growers Garden Center, 4391 FL Route 11, DeLeon Springs. Plenty of parking.

for Kids at Heart
This two-part video introduces hand sewing for children.

​First project: ​​The tools and supplies needed to complete this project are: sharp scissors, needle, thread, pencil, pins, small piece of fabric (no larger than 10" x 10" is needed - a square of felt is preferred but any light to medium weight fabric will do), a button, stuffing (fiber fill, batting, or even cotton balls will work).

​Second project: Another small piece of fabric and a piece of ribbon, cord, or even a shoelace approsimately 18" long is all that is needed. Some ironing is use for the second project to parental supervision is necessary for that portion of the activity.​​