The Union Recorder

Local News

February 22, 2013

Sallie Ellis Davis Cultural Arts Center hosts lye soap making event

MILLEDGEVILLE — In celebration of Black History Month, the Sallie Ellis Davis Cultural Arts will host a lye soap making event with Juanita Mercer of Miss Bea’s Wunderbar from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. This event is sponsored by the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Mercer will teach participants about going back to the basics by demonstrating the process of lye soap making, a process Mercer finds very relaxing. 

“It takes me back to a simpler, less complicated time in my life,” Mercer said. “It’s a very relaxing and soothing process.”

The soap is made from water, lard, lye and a little essential oil.  Mercer follows the same steps as her mother, Miss Bea, using the same black pot technique. 

“Making the soap brings back memories of my mother,” Mercer said. “She would make it in a black pot too.”   

Mercer recommends using the soap to help with skin problems, as she did when she was a child and continues to do today. It is good for dry skin, poison ivy, oak rashes and relieving pain and itching.

“This is what they used a long time ago,” Mercer said.  “It’s a great natural remedy.”

The Sallie Ellis Davis Cultural Arts Center was the former home of a local educator, Sallie Ellis Davis, who touched the lives of hundreds of African-American children.

For information about the Sallie Ellis Davis Cultural Arts Center, or about Miss Bea’s Wunderbar, call 478-445-5889, or visit

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