Local Events of Historical Skills

Many of the skills used in daily living in past years is being forgotten as time moves along.  In our local community, there are many people that feel it is important that these skills be known by the younger generations, and the techniques be handed down while these skills are still present.  The Low German Club is one of these groups, promoting the Low German language with song and theater.  Pictures of these activities can be found at the Sängerfest and Plattdütsches Theoter pages on this web site.

Other activities are the Annual Antique Auto show, which is a part of the Cole Camp Fair.  Pictures of these automobiles, many of which have been restored to their original condition, can be found on the Cole Camp Fair pages.  There also is an Annual Steam and Antique tractor show - again consisting of many tractors that were used for farming in the immediate area and have been fully restored to their original condition.  Pictures of the shows of these tractors and some of the activities, such as, apple cider making, threshing, hay bailing, corn shelling, silage cutting, and some of the "hit-n-miss" engines that were used on the farms can be found on the Steam and Antique Tractor pages.  The 2001 and 2002 shows were held an extra day, on a Friday, to allow the lower grades from the local R1 school to attend and also see how some of these activities were done years ago by their grandparents.

In 2001, the local area held their first Octoberfest Festival.  There were quite a few exhibits, lots to eat, and a few area residents showing their skills with blacksmithing, quilting and weaving.  Pictures of some of these activities can be found on the Octoberfest page.

Area activities that also are special for the area, but not part of an annual event, are coordinated and held by a few individuals that have knowledge of, and the equipment required for the activity.  An example of this is making sorghum cane molasses.  The equipment is almost non-existant and so it the know-how.  Reinhold and Beverly Henning have the equipment, i.e. the old vintage cane press that was originally powered by a horse or mule walking in a circle.  They also have the cooking pan and the fire box needed to cook the cane juice.  Pictures of this activity, showing the stripping and cutting of the cane, the squeezing of the stalks to get the juice, the cooking of the juice until it was a rich carmel color with bubbles about the size of a scared steer's eyes, and then the pouring of the cooked molasses into containers by straining the syrup through cloth.  The pictures from this memorable event can be found on the Raising Cane page.

As other activities occur in the area that reflect the way it used to be, I hope to be at some of them to record them in pictures for your education and entertainment.