Everyone's invited to the Lucas County Historical Society museum campus this morning for our annual Harvest Festival open house. Hours will be 10 a.m. to noon and everything's free.
All of the buildings will be open to tour, of course, and we'll be serving hot cider, coffee and coffee cake in the Pioneer Barn and there will be free fresh-roasted peanuts, too, hot from the vintage Piper Grocery roaster.
There will be face-painting for the kids courtesy of Mary Jo Fisher and some small farm animals to interact with.
Margaret Coons will be providing live music, guitar and vocal; and down at the Blacksmith Shop, Jerry Book will be offering a demonstration at the forge.
You're invited to look around the grounds, too, to admire the work accomplished this season by the Grounds Committee. Samples of produce from the Heirloom Garden will be on display in the barn and we'll cut into Moon and Stars Watermelon and serve samples, too.
This will be our last big event of the season, but the museum will remain open from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday through Saturday, Oct. 4 --- the day after Chariton High School Homecoming. Admission always is free. After that, we'll be open only one day a week until next Memorial Day, although tours always will be available by appointment.
On Sunday, the 11th annual Chariton Cemetery Heritage Tour, sponsored by the Chariton Historic Preservation Commission, will begin at 2 p.m. at the Larry Clark Memorial Gazebo on the Courthouse lawn. After a brief introduction to the locations of Chariton's early hotels, we'll then go to the cemetery --- this year in procession rather than on a bus --- to meet a few of the men and women who owned and operated them.
Featured at the cemetery will be Lizzie Cripps (Ev Brightman), who opened the White Front Hotel and Cafe on the east side of the square during 1913; Samuel J. St. John (Larry Hirschy) who, with his father, Bartholomew, operated the 1853 St. John House on the south side of the square from 1855 until after the Civil War; Henry F. McCollough (Dave Kuball), who built the Hotel Charitone in partnership with his father-in-law in 1923; and Orliff A. Clark (Brad Krutsinger) and his family, who owned and operated the Charitone from 1931 until 1972.
After the tour, refreshments will be served in the Cemetery Shelter.
The cost for the tour is $5, which goes to the Preservation Commission to fund its work during the year. The Commission is an agency of the city of Chariton, but receives no funding other than what its members can raise privately.
This will be the first year the annual tour will operate without a school bus for transportation, but the school district, we discovered late in the game, no longer rents buses for use at non-school-related events. So guests will be encouraged to car-pool to the cemetery, then drive or walk from one presentation site to another.