Saturday, November 3, 2012


What a great day for a festival!  Once again the weather Gods rewarded us with a fantastic day--no rain; plenty of sun; and warm weather.

The crowd came early and stayed late.  This event has always been planned as a fun day for the family and it certainly lived up to our expectations.  Many families came to have a day of family activities and from what I saw and heard, they had a great time.

The day started with the Trotwood Madison High School Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AJROTC) presenting the colors while a member of the High School Choir sang the National Anthem.  The Color Guard performed flawlessly.  

Jazmyn Stephens, a senior from Trotwood-Madison High School did a great job singing the National Anthem--one of the best I have heard in a long time.

After the opening ceremony, all activities were open to the public and the crowd immediately began to visit the many exhibits, displays and demonstrations.  We had our usual displays of tractors and old farm equipment, antique fire truck, wood carving, wire bending (model farm equipment), husker/shredder, corn binding and buzz saw.  However this year we did add 6 new exhibits and/or demonstrations. 

Five of the new exhibitors set up in the barn which required us to move the Trotwood Trailer and other items outside the barn.  Dr Mark Judy set up wool demonstrations and maple syrup making.  This was a very interesting display and his set up was great.   Maggie Sexton demonstrated the art of making corn husk dolls and corn husk flowers.  This was an interactive display and the visitors were given the opportunity to make an item if they wanted to.  Kathy Reamy had an exhibit on crocheting and had many examples of crocheted items.  Nancy McDonald demonstrated the art of quilt making and also had items on display. Janet Wead the art of hand tatting and also had items on display.

Our last new group was not in the barn, but were performing on the porch of the Iams Homestead.  Carolyn Kilpatrick and a group of dulcimer players entertained the crowd with the music of the dulcimer.  She also presented information on the history of the dulcimer.

We were fortunate again this year to have our blacksmith, Arthur Glidden, who has a great interactive program for the children.  Not only does he show them how to make items using the tools of a blacksmith, he lets the children get involved in the process.  I observed his demonstrations and all the children seemed to have a great time.  They got to help make a nail and also got the keep the nail which was placed in a wooden block.  The children then got to write their name on the block and took it home as a memento of the days event.

If you did not visit the country store, you missed a great opportunity.  The crew that sorts our donations and sets up the store out did themselves this year.  The items were displayed well and the crowd visited the store all day.

The food tent also did well this year with our usual kettle cooked chilli, hotdogs cooked over an open fire; pumpkin pie and assorted beverages.  Once again there was a line all day and the food tent received more donations this year then last year.

The barn received many more visitors than usual because of the new exhibitors.  We still had our pegboard displays in the barn, but had to move many of the other displays outside.

Bruce Kettelle was busy all day with the hayrides which were a big hit again this year.  If you want to have a fun time and learn a little about history and the Iams Homestead, take a ride with Bruce--you'll be glad you did!

The Museum had was open and the museum crew did a fantastic job giving guided tours of the museum.  We had corn drying in the kitchen; the upstairs bedroom with period furniture; a school room and we also had composite pictures of some of the graduating classes from the old Trotwood Madison High School.

Unfortunately, our corn was too wet to do many demonstrations of the Husker/Shredder.  We did have a few, but very few stalks were ran at a time.  We did make up for it by running more demonstrations of the corn binder.  We used this opportunity to not only demonstrate the corn binder, but to gather the corn bundles the City of Trotwood needed for their Harvest Walk.

TJ Wilz brought his buzz saw and tractor and demonstrated cutting wood for with the buzz saw.  Thanks to him, we now have all the wood we will need for next year's harvest fest.

Over all, I think the day went well and the crowd had a good time.  Based on the sign in lists at the registration tables and the number of people going through the food line, the crowd may have been a little larger than last year.  Our donations at the food tent were also up about 5 percent.

This year, thanks to Jim Rufener, we had a very good display on the civil war as well as his restored army jeep on display.  Besides the sword, rifle and other small items on display, Jim displayed a civil war cannon which he made.  We tracked his progress throughout the year and for awhile, it looked like it might not get completed in time for the harvest fest.  When making this type of item, a lot of the pieces are individually made by hand and you can only proceed as fast as your suppliers produce the parts and ship them to you.  I know Jim put in many hours just before the harvest fest to get the cannon completed.  This added a lot to our event. 

Thanks to all our volunteers; our sponsors; and the visitors who can to the harvest fest.  Without your support, the harvest fest would not have happened.  Please mark your calendar for the 2nd Saturday of October next year and come out to the 15th Annual Iams Homestead Pioneer Harvest Fest.

I have attached a slide show with some of the pictures from the harvest fest.  Unfortunately, I was too busy to take pictures of everything.  If you took any pictures and would like to share them please send them to


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