Wednesday, October 28, 2009

11th Annual Iams Homestead Pioneer Harvest Fest Report

If you missed the harvest fest, you missed one of the premier events of the Historical Society and the City of Trotwood. The committee has its first meeting the first Tuesday of May and meets monthly until the harvest fest. It is a small, but dedicated committee that plans this event each year and we owe them our thanks for a job well done.

However, without the support of our dedicated volunteers who help with setting up and manning each work area, we could not have this event. We also have loyal community members who support us each year by bringing their equipment to display/demonstrate.

We had some new displays that helped make this year special. The Flora family again displayed the featured tractor—a 1919 Heider Model 9-16 Rock Island Tractor—which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed. We also had many new items of machinery on display and/or demonstrated. Ken Ullery brought his 1912 Gaar Scott 13 horsepower steam engine. Seeing him drive the engine down South Broadway was a sight to see. Unfortunately, the committee did not have our thinking caps on or we would have planned to add a few tractors to follow him to the homestead. Ken also powered Gene Whip’s buzz saw with his steam engine—a demonstration that the crowd loved

We were fortunate this year to have two new individuals bring their equipment for display/demonstration. Carl Schneider brought a 1926 Rex cement mixer and a pre 1920 Fairbanks Morse 2 horsepower hit and miss engine. Carl used the hit and miss engine to power the cement mixer. Kyle Blankenship brought a 4 horsepower Witte hit and miss engine and a 1 ¼ horsepower Monarch hit and miss engine. The Society also had their Galloway 9 horsepower hit and miss engine on display this year. Carl and Kyle have volunteered to help us restore the engine and hopefully it will be running by spring.
Unfortunately, this year the corn did not mature soon enough for us to do the many demonstrations of the husker/shredder and the binder. We did manage a few short demonstrations. As a result of not being able to harvest the corn, we were unable to put any corn in our crib for sale. However, as soon as the corn
matures and gets dry enough to harvest, we will use the Kleinhenz corn picker to harvest the corn. We have a bumper crop this year and should have a lot of ear corn to sell.
Another new display this year that we have wanted to get was the 1928 Ahrens Fox Fire Engine owned by the City of Trotwood Fire Department. This engine has been restored and was one of the best that I have seen. It has won many awards at various shows. Chief Lutz and members of the fire department brought the engine in for display. Chief Lutz remained with the engine all day. We thank the Chief and the fire department for their participation this year. We hope to have it back next year along with other equipment items from the fire department.
This year we also had an interactive blacksmith demonstration. Herb 'n Anvil offer an interactive blacksmithing experience that gives young people the opportunity to shape metal like a real blacksmith. The smith heats a hook and the kids get to put a decorative twist in it, thus seeing how heat transforms the metal. Kids get to keep the hook as a souvenir. Participation helps people learn how blacksmiths have turned raw metal into useful tools for centuries. In addition, there is a display of herbs used as medicine before the era of pharmaceutical medication.
We cleaned out the south end of the barn and set up displays and demonstrations in that area. We had a quilting group who showed us how to quilt. They even set up a quilt for the observers to try their hand at quilting. Regina Kleinhenz also put many small items on display in the book shelves that were in the south end of the barn. James Barnhart displayed his wire farm implements in the south end of the barn and showed the crowd how he made is implements.
Walt Fidder set up his model train display in the center section of the barn. This display always draws a crowd of the young and the not so young who are train buffs.

We set up the 1929 Trotwood Trailer in the center section. However, due to the condition of the canvas, this may be the last year the trailer will be on display unless we get the canvas repaired. The center section also had many pegboard displays of farm, trapping, kitchen and other items on display. There was an antique wooden pea sheller in this section. It is operational and hopefully we will have enough dried peas to demonstrate it next year. Some of the items—scales, hand trucks—from the old Farmers Exchange were on display in the center section of the barn.

Joe Sowder manned our tobacco display area. We have some of the items from his family’s Kentucky tobacco farm on display. Joe demonstrates how to tie hands and place in tobacco press and cut tobacco and place on sticks for storage in the barn. This year we had a bumper crop of tobacco which was on display in the west side of the center section of the barn.

Bruce Kettelle and his hayrides were a hit as usual. If you have never taken his hayride, I suggest you do. You will learn a lot from his hayride while being entertained. This year Bruce stopped by the tobacco field while Joe Sowder was cutting tobacco. He stopped and Joe gave a brief talk on tobacco farming. This seemed to go well and we think this will become a regular event.

Sue Stiffler and her crew set up a super Country Store this year. The home made pies and pastries were a big hit. With great merchandise in the store sales were 54% higher than last year.

The food tent was a huge success with the crowd again this year—donations were 40% higher than last year. We were constantly being told how good the chili was. Tony and Regina Kleinhenz and Claude and Linda Keeling are the chili cooks and they proved once again that they deserve the title “Master Chili Chef”. Many people have asked for the recipe, however, Tony has it locked in a vault and only brings it out each October for the harvest fest. Maybe next year we will have a contest called “Name the Ingredients” to see if anyone can decode the recipe.

The museum also was well prepared for the harvest fest thanks to Ruth Lang, Faith Shock and Pam Jones. Once again we had corn drying in the kitchen. This year Ruth tried something new for the museum. She brought in a Daisy hand-cranked glass churn and the ingredients to make butter. This seemed to be a great demonstration and the butter was very creamy with a great taste.

Near the chili pot was our apple butter demonstration under the supervision of Ruth Lang. She also had samples from last year’s apple butter demonstration for visitors to taste. I am not sure what she puts in the apple butter, but it is the best I have ever tasted. Come to next year’s harvest fest for a sample of this year’s apple butter.
This was the first year that we had a band. The Rock Island Plow Company bluegrass band played 3 – 5 PM. They are a fantastic group and did a great job entertaining the crowd. We used the Keeling 16 foot utility trailer as a stage. It was set up on the south side of the house near the sunroom porch. There was plenty of open space for the crowd to sit and enjoy themselves. Great band, good music and outstanding time to be had by all. What more could you ask for. We have invited them back for next year.

There were many volunteers who helped with this year’s event. We do not have space to name all of them. The committee wishes to thank all of them for their support. Without the volunteers, we could not have had this event.
We also want to thank our sponsors for their support. We have our loyal sponsors who join us each year. Thanks to Ralph Kuester’s efforts, we also had new sponsors join us this year. Please patronize our sponsors who were listed in our program and on our sponsor board at the event. The following sponsored the 11th Annual Iams Homestead Harvest Fest: Cub Foods, 5495 Salem Ave., Trotwood, OH; Broadway CafĂ©, 203 North Broadway, Trotwood, OH: Trotwood Foodtown, 830 East Main St., Trotwood, OH; Doors Galore, 7410 Pleasant Plain, Clayton, OH; Muffler Brothers, 307 East Main St., Trotwood, OH; Higgins Station, 420 East Main St, Trotwood, OH; Jenny Service Co. Inc, 5885 Wolf Creek Pike, Trotwood, OH; Adams Auto Service, 521 East Main St, Trotwood, OH; Dixie Auto Tech, 381 West Main Street, New Lebanon, OH; Tim’s Car Care Clinic 501 South Broadway, Trotwood, OH; Slemker Auto Care, 6000 Wolf Creek Pike, Trotwood, OH; Rogers’ Funeral Home 107 West Main Street, Trotwood, OH, J.W. Devers & Sons, Inc. 5 North Broadway, Trotwood, OH; James Midlam,Walter Cavender Co. 5853 Wolf Creek Pike, Dayton, OH; Trotwood Florist, 724 East Main Street, Trotwood, OH; Sheri’s Hair Fashion, 6514 Union Rd, Clayton, OH; M&H Service Center, 207 North Broadway, Trotwood, OH; Kristine M. Sudduth, Realtor, Irongate, Inc., Realtors, 7980 North Main St, Dayton, OH; Trotwood Corporation, 11 North Broadway, Trotwood, OH; Korrect Plumbing Co. Inc, 7970 West 3rd Street, Dayton, OH; Steven Johnson, Realtor, Royce & Associates, 7030 North Main St, Dayton, OH; Keybank 3031 Shiloh Springs Rd. Trotwood, OH; Flash Quick Copy, 2572 Shiloh Springs Road, Dayton OH; Totally Trotwood,; Fifth Third Bank 2250 Shiloh Springs Rd, Trotwood, OH; Fifth Third Bank, 1 East Main St, Trotwood, OH; Johnson’s Flooring Center, 6875 Salem Pike (S.R. 49), Clayton, OH; Trotwood Barbershop, 726 East Main St, Trotwood. OH; Grismer Auto Service Centers, 840 East Main St, Trotwood, OH; and the City of Trotwood.

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