2017-09-07 / Community

Octagon Barn Fall Family Days explores the history of Grain Elevators

GAGETOWN – The Thumb Octagon Barn & Agricultural Museum is like a doorway to another time and place where visitors step into an early 20th century world and experience what life was like 100 years ago. Chairperson Martin Kubacki and all of the many volunteers, invite everyone to come and spend the day to see, learn and enjoy rural Michigan life in the early 1900s.

The Thumb Octagon Barn’s Fall Family Days activities are set for Sept. 9-10 at the Thumb Octagon Barn & Agricultural Museum, located at 6948 Ritchie Road in Gagetown. All vehicles must enter from Bay City-Forestville Road only. Daily gate admission is $5 per person for those 6 years old and older. The Fish Fry will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 in the Munro Building of the museum grounds, with tickets sold at the door. The entire event, sponsored by Friends of the Thumb Octagon Barn, is for family fun for people of all ages.

A Country Breakfast will be served on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., with tickets sold at the door. Foods available on-site include homemade bean soup, chicken & fries, pretzels, pressed apple cider, homemade ice cream, homemade pie, fresh lemonade, hog kettle popcorn and homemade doughnuts.

Throughout the two-day event, several Country bands will play under the trees near the Purdy House. On Sunday morning at 10 a.m. will be an Old Gospel Hymns Sing-A-Long!

In the free Children’s Activity tent, kids will get to play and do ‘chores’ like kids of yesteryear - children must be accompanied by an adult. Nearby will be free Barrel Train rides.

On both days, there will be hands-on craft classes for adult ladies. There is no cost, but donations to benefit the barn and museum will be appreciated. Children must be attended by a parent; materials and methods are not geared for kids, but they are welcome to watch.

The seven-bedroom, two-story house will be open and musicians will provide live music on dulcimer as well as the Purdy Family Melodeon. The basement will be open with a display of all types of old kitchen appliances and gadgets.

The One Room Country School will have ‘Patriotic Presentations’ by students and teachers dressed in 1920s and 30s attire. The Grain Elevator now includes a grist mill. Other buildings include: Blacksmith Shop, Sugar Shack, Cider Mill, Powerhouse, Sawmill Museum and Veneer Mill. There will be morning and afternoon demonstrations of the sawmill, well drilling, making apple cider, threshing, baling and potato picking using old farm equipment. Theresa Schumitsch will be milking goats and making butter. Free, horse-drawn wagon rides will be available. There also will be a live bee display, broom making, a dairy exhibit and live farm animals.

There will also be displays of old tractors, a Bay City shovel and John Deere toys. At 3 p.m. both days will be a narrated Parade of Antique Tractors & Equipment.

The focus this year is the history of Grain Elevators. Our grain elevators, which was moved in 2007 with an addition added in 2009, is 18 ft. 24 in. We now have a loading dock on two sides of the building and line shafts in place to run the machine to provide demonstration typical of early town elevators.

There will be over 200 vendors displaying a wide variety of arts, crafts, and flea market items.

All vehicles must enter from Bay City-Forestville Road only. No pets are allowed due to Health Department regulations as well as liability. For more information: 989-658-8450.

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