Soap-making workshop

Colonial settlers rapidly used up whatever supplies of soap they may have brought with them to the New World.  However, all the materials they needed to make their own supply were available — wood ashes and animal fat, which were natural byproducts of farm or homesteading life.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, the Wilton Historical Society at 224 Danbury Road will host a soap-making workshop for children from 11 to 12:30.

Soap making was a difficult, arduous and sometimes dangerous task, requiring hours of boiling and working with caustic lye. It could take place in the fall, after butchering or in the spring to use up winter ashes and waste cooking grease. The result was a soft, slippery soap that could be ladled out of a barrel to use for laundering, cleaning, and bathing. Salt could be added to harden the soap into blocks, but it was generally too valuable for such a use.

At the historical society’s workshop, children can try their hand at making soap and learn about life in Colonial Connecticut from museum educator Lola Chen. They can also help make their own fruit or chocolate fondue snack.

There is a $10 per-child fee for Wilton Historical Society members and a $15 fee for non-members with a $35 per-family maximum.

Registration: or call 203-762-7257.