Remembering the past

Wiegert Prairie Fall Fest

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Lyle Faiferlick, of Fort Dodge, looks up at the top of the windmill and water tank during the 2017 Fall Fest at the Wiegert Prairie Farmstead. The visit brought back many memories for Faiferlick, who grew up on a farm south of Fort Dodge and attended a one-room school until third grade.

PALMER — This year’s Fall Fest on the Wiegert Prairie Farmstead will remember “Stories of the Past” with a reenactment — both the traditional Civil War one and the less seen variety commemorating the 1969 moon landing.

Next Sunday, visitors can hear stories of the past through a unique firsthand experience of the family and farming heritage.

“We have a couple things unique this year that we haven’t done in the past,” said James Conway, ranger naturalist for Pocahontas County Conservation.

In addition to the two demonstrations, a tractor ride from Gilmore City Fun Days will display 10 to 15 antique tractor varieties at lunchtime at the 36th annual event.

But that’s not all.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Scott Devereaux, of Pomeroy, leads his two mules, Dolly, at left, and Daisy, as the prepare to plow up a row of potatoes for harvesting Sunday during the 34th annual Fall Fest at the Weigert Prairie Farmstead. The two also spent part of their day pulling visitors around the prairie area on a wagon.

Two alpacas will also join the pet and farm animal fare typically shown during the event on the 1900 farmstead.

The free event starts at 10 a.m., with a church service at 10:30. PAC FFA members will be on site to hand off grilled food from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in addition to the kettle corn, homemade pie, root beer floats, cowboy coffee and ice cream.

If your stomach still has room after that, try your hand at the apple cider press.

“It’s a really big piece of our heritage,” in Pocahontas County, said Conway. “Wiegert Prairie Farmstead is a pillar of our county.”

The farmhouse, smokehouse, barn, crib, school house, and church will also be open for tours. Other displays and demonstrations include blacksmithing, firearms, weaving, quilting and organ music.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Tom and Marty Olsen, of Newell, work on demonstrating the fine art of making rope and spinning yarn during the 34th annual Fall Fest at the Weigert Prairie Farmstead. They were assisted by Gabriel Coon, 11, of Fonda, at left, who got to take the piece of rope they made home with him.

Prairie rides and live music will also add authenticity and fun to the family friendly event.

“Our motto is ‘conserving our natural heritage for those who follow,'” he said. “We really tie that all in there.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Dennis Hallberg, of Palmer, holds up the coffee pot on display in the farmhouse at the 34th annual Fall Fest at the Weigert Prairie Farmstead. Hallberg remembered how Harry Weigert, who farmed the site with horses till his death in 1980, always kept a pot of coffee on the stove.

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