The Historic Crab Orchard Museum is an educational institution whose mission is to identify, collect, preserve, interpret, and promote the diverse Appalachian cultural heritage of Southwest Virginia and the surrounding region.
Early settlers built log cabins and churches, which were also used as schools. The pioneers processed natural fiber to make their own clothes and blankets, growing flax to make linen and raising sheep for wool. They also traded for cotton, which grew in hotter climates. Seeds from flax were pressed to make linseed oil and wool was washed to remove lanolin, the natural grease from sheep. Once fibers were cleaned and combed, they were spun, dyed, woven and either knitted, sewn, or felted to make cloth. Most pioneers would have had only two sets of clothes, one for work and one for church, because it took so long to make pants or a dress with homespun fiber.