Hitchcock House Pioneer Festival coming up on May 5th

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Have you ever wondered how the pioneers made their own rope or dipped their own candles?  Maybe you have even thought about trying your hand at spinning wool.  If so, you should come to the Hitchcock Pioneer Skills Festival. The Festival will be held on Saturday, May 5th at the Hitchcock House, which is located 6 miles south of Atlantic and 1.5 miles west of Lewis, IA.  The festivities will begin at 1:00 p.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.  You will have an opportunity to visit the historic Hitchcock House and see many of the skills and crafts that people of the late 1800’s used in daily living.

You could begin your visit with a tour of the Hitchcock House that is also a National Historic Landmark.  This two-story home was built in 1856. It features thick sandstone walls, window seats, native hard wood trim and a secret room that hid runaway slaves.  The secret room is located in the basement where there is also a stone fireplace where the slaves could cook food and keep warm.  It is said that the famous John Brown preached around this fireplace. Head to the barn, where the hub of the festival activities will take place.  Once you make it to the barn you will be able to observe the skills and crafts of the past and even try your hand at a few of them.  There will be rope making, candle dipping, tin punching, and woodcarvings.  

Don’t miss out on this exciting day!  The festival will be held rain or shine.  Families are encouraged to come and share the day together as they might have in the 1800’s.  There is a $5 fee for a tour of the Hitchcock House.  All activities in the barn are free of charge; donations to the Hitchcock House will be accepted.

(Press Release/Lora Kanning, Naturalist with Cass County Conservation)