Sunday, September 21, 2014

Harvest Fair was great! Cemetery tour today

We had guests ranging in age from 8 months to 80-plus on the Lucas County Historical Society museum campus Saturday morning for our annual Harvest Festival --- and that's just the kind of mix anyone associated with a museum dreams of.

The fact that dozens of youngsters, plus their parents, turned out can be attributed largely to Danielle Van Ryswyk and Mary Jo Fisher. Danielle pulled up early with with a horse trailer bearing small farm animals that youngsters of various ages could interact with and Mary Jo was on hand to provide free face-painting.

We were a little worried early about the weather since there had been early-morning showers, but by mid-morning the skies had cleared. That's Danielle with historical society board members Ron Christensen and Joe Sellers --- and the animals --- on the south lawn of the Stephens House above. Mary Jo (below) moved her operation into Otterbein Church when it still looked as if it might rain. 

Shortly after having her face painted, one of Mary Jo's early customers moved on to greet the goats. Goat and girl are considering each other in the top photo.

One purpose of the festival was to highlight the museum gardens, still looking great as first-frost approaches; and produce from the heirloom vegetable garden. We cut into and served Moon and Stars watermelon from the heirloom garden, which was a big hit. We sampled a melon two weeks ago at a board meeting when it was nearing full maturity; the melons served Saturday were perfect, fully flavored and sweet --- with plenty of seeds for spitting (or saving, as several did).

Margaret Coons, an extremely talented musician, was on hand to provide music in the Pioneer Barn, where coffee, hit cider and coffee cake also were served --- in addition to the melon.

Down in the Blacksmith Shop, Ron (with Bill Marner offering advice) powered up the small putt-putt engine that powers a belt-drive and operates other pieces of mechanical equipment. 

We counted more than 100 guests --- a number we were very happy with --- before noon, when the transition was made from open house to appreciation day for all the volunteers who keep the museum running year-around.

As the final guests were departing, Danielle gave board member Bob Ulrich (who with Jerry Pierschbacher had roasted and served fresh peanuts all morning) an opportunity to escort the calf from pen to trailer for the trip home.

At 1 p.m., Kathleen Dittmer, Kay Brown and others served lunch in the barn to about 30 of our volunteers and that was a great way to end the day.

Although the museum is nearing the end of the 2014 season, it remains open 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday through Oct. 4. After that, the museum office will be open to the public one day a week and tours will be by appointment until the 2015 season opens next May.


Don't forget the 11th annual Chariton Cemetery Heritage Tour this afternoon. We'll meet at 2 p.m. at the Larry Clark Memorial Gazebo on the courthouse lawn for a brief introduction, then caravan to the cemetery for the tour, stopping there to visit Lizzie Crips (Ev Brightman), Samuel J. St. John (Larry Hirschy), Henry F. McCollough (Dave Kuball) and the O.A. Clark family (Brad Krutsinger). Tickets are $5 each with proceeds to fund the work of the Chariton Historic Preservation Commission.

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