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Not sure where to place this post but this is MUST see TV for you devoted homesteaders.

Last year there was a series on PBS called Frontier House. The series concept was basically, can modern age families displaced back into the western frontier of the 1800's cope with the rigors that our ancestors did.

Colonial House is another adaptation of the orginal Frontier House only it is set in 1628 in Maine and deals with what some of hazards and hardships the original colonizers to this country faced everyday.

This is reality TV at it's greatest.

Check your local listings and call your local PBS affiliate for details concerning the airing of this spectacular series.

Lee
 

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All of these PBS "House" shows are cra*p (IMHO) A bunch of whiney people who have all of their food and homes given to them at the beginning of the show. Most of them don't even want to "follow the rules" that the producers set down.

If you want to see a decent "survival series," watch Pioneer Quest on PBS. This show was done in Canada, the people stayed for an entire year (including the winter!), they built their own shelters, and grew/hunted their own food.

(Where the heck are the muskets on this Colonial House anywho?!?!?!)
 

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Not true Cabin Fever.

PBS has some excellent shows. A couple of weeks ago, our local PBS affiliate showed the adventures of Richard Proenneke in a show called "Alone in the Wilderness".



Maybe 1 person in 20 million has even the slightest desire to pick up & move to Alaska.....living in a one room cabin.....alone. But the romantic myth associated with it lives on.....


Yes, people are going to complain on some of the shows. Realistically, the show's pool of available people are either people with little or nothing.......or finanacially secure people able to take a 5 month sabbatical from work/etc.
 

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Yes, Colonial House had little or nothing to do with real community life back in those days. PBS can't do much anymore without injecting political correctness and politics. Unfortunate. PBS billed this show dishonestly. With no hunting, guns or adherence to the Governor's regulations (which was absolutely essential to everyone's survival) the show degenerated into just another conflict-driven, PC reality show.
 

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I might mention another pbs show I ran across by accident. Unfortunately I dont remember name, but it was daytime "educational" show aimed at school kids. Was also colonial but I think little later than present Colonial House. Set in Virginia with a family raising few acres of tobacco and had actors reenacting day to day life. Then at end, the man and woman while staying in character answered questions from school kids. I've lucked out and seen at least parts of it twice now. Beats reality tv "house" shows all to heck although I'm sure it wouldnt get the ratings.

These house shows are kinda worst of both worlds. They get whiney people, then set unreal rules like no hunting which was a mainstay for most pioneers especially until they got a farm established. Guess I figure either play it straight as people of period lived or just give the group the restriction of that period technology and let them figure best way to apply it without bunch of goofy restrictions. I swear this colonial house thing is being run in about most inefficient way possible. I mean I can throw enough food into a pot over a campfire for an hour to keep me going. This idea of wasting all day preparing salt pork and peas is ridiculous. Not to get anybody all excited, but the domestic animals waste lot of time without adding that much to nutrition at this point especially when game is available and plentiful. They are really only useful once community is thriving and trade possible and too many people for local wildlife to provide food. Otherwise a time and labor waster. Living in close quarters would be hell for me and those houses are poor choice for that climate. If I were there and free to make my own decisions, I'd choose to go put up a small thick walled, low ceiling stone or log hut with its back end up against a hill along with clay stove to heat it. Something efficient where I can be alone and not fighting being cold all the time during winter. Those clapboard houses had so many gaps and such thin walls, just as well live in a tent. I'll take care of my own housekeeping thank you. The only thing I would owe community is some time spent on community debt to sponsers and I'd be pushing to get that paid off soon as possible.
 

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Hoop, I couldn't agree with you more. My comment was in regards to the Frontier/Colonial/1900 "House" series, not all PBS programming.

And by the way, I own the Dick Proenneke DVD! It's a REAL survivor biography!
 

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I watched Pioneer House and wasn't impressed at all. They must search out the most unlikely people they can find to do these. They haven't a clue what they are getting into thats for sure. None of them would have lasted very long in the real pioneer world. Saw the first part of the colonial one and its more of the same by the look of it. Whine time t.v.
 
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Do y'all think the original colonists and settlers didn't do their share of whining? Their diaries are full of it. Sixty percent of the original folks who filed a claim on a homestead couldn't/wouldn't stick it out for the five years that it took to prove their claim and get the title to their land.

A great many of them had no idea of what it was they were getting themselves into nor did a lot of them understand the climate their homesteads were in.

Pretty much what we saw with Frontier House. If you'd read the experts reports they were pretty damning. Had nothing to do with not hunting, or their guns, and had a lot to do with the fact that none of them really had cut enough wood to make it through a Montana winter, and two of the three families hadn't adequately weather proofed their cabins. Maybe one of the three families would have been able to make it through to the next spring - if they didn't murder each other.

All quite common back then.

One of my favorites from that time period from a homesteader who went bust out on the prairie read something like -

"Forty miles to wood.
Twenty miles to water.
Six inches to Hell.
Going off to stay with the wife's parents."

Much the same with the early colonists. They weren't all Puritans. Actually, the Puritans were only a small percentage of the colonists who came over. And a lot of them had no idea what they were getting themselves into, didn't always care to be bossed by the Governor. A poster in a similar thread in another forum mentioned one colony that had a rebellion where they hanged their governor.

And they can't completely exclude the twenty first century. The show producers and their Plimouth Colony advisers still have to contend with modern day game laws and the wishes of the owners of the land they're using for their project. It's a good bet they'd be out hunting and trapping to at least a certain extent, but the local Indian tribe whose land they are on or the state may not allow them to. They do seem to fish from what I can see.

Lots and lots and lots of whining. Then and now. Pretty much human nature there. And as they are finding out, when you have exhausted yourself with whining and dalliance the work is still there waiting to be done.

Just like homesteading in the twenty first century.

.....Alan.
 
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