Something for everyone at the Harvest Festival
Terry Cole, right, delivers his restored Conestoga wagon to the Greene County Historical Society Museum, just in time for the 42nd annual Harvest Festival this weekend. The festival run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday.
C.R. Nelson / For the Observer-Reporter
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Wagons and cabins and bears, oh my! There’s a few new things to see this weekend at the Greene County Historical Society’s 42nd annual Harvest Festival on Rolling Meadows Road, Waynesburg.
“The Conestoga wagon was the semi-truck of the frontier,” Terry Cole of Khuntown observed Friday, as he unloaded his big restored wagon to be on display in Greene County for the first time. Around him the museum grounds bustled with vendors setting up and historic artifacts being delivered. “There was no seat for the driver – he walked beside it. The inside was just for freight.”
Cole’s Conestoga now sits on the front lawn of the museum for the weekend, beside the log cabin that was reassembled, log-by-log all spring and summer by volunteer Brice Rush of Carmichaels. And yes, there just might be a bear inside, along with pheasants, deer, turkeys and squirrels, carved into a cherry wood mantle by retired miner Shirl Vernon of Poland Mine.
Inside, the cabin’s new fireplace is a piece of art, inset with carved fish, an arching sunset, a keystone and a large lintel stone tying it all together.
“Frank Lewis donated that lintel. It was from his grandfather’s house in Spraggs,” Rush said. “Frank is coming to the festival with about 100 Christmas tree ornaments that he whittled this year to pass out to the kids.”
The cabin is now under roof and the scaffolding is down just in time for the weekend, giving a full view of the beautiful stonework of the chimney. “I’ll be here but I’ll be working, there’s still a lot of work to be done on the cabin,” Rush said. “The porch still has to be built and the upstairs floor needs laid.”
He looked over at the Roseberry Barbershop from Rices Landing that was donated back to the museum this summer from Meadowcroft Village. “It’s just sitting there, waiting for volunteers to repair it and put it on a foundation. But we won’t be getting to it until next spring.”
The live music in the agricultural barn goes on all afternoon today and Sunday, with an intermission at 3 p.m. both days for the shoot-’em-up drama of Civil War skirmishes outside. Civil War re-enactors have their own encampment and the log cabins behind the main hall have been turned into a Colonial tavern.
Homemade crafts and food are part of the festival’s historic charm, and the special exhibit of Governor Edward Martin in the front hall makes this year’s festival a destination for history lovers, live music fans and shoppers looking for something handmade and unique.
“The music is mostly acoustic rock, gospel and some blue grass,” museum director Eben Williams said. “The gates open at 10 a.m. and the entertainment is mainly in the agricultural barn. If you want to hear the Greene Academy Dulcimers, they are performing today at 2 p.m. in the museum music room on the first floor.”
The agricultural barn entertainment schedule:
Today – 12:30 p.m, vocalist Mollie Ehrlichman; 1 p.m., Nathan Chess; 2 p.m., Frank Melega and Friends; 4 p.m., Circuit.
Sunday – 11 a.m., Braxton McCollums Magic and Juggling; 12:30 p.m., vocalist Mollie Ehrlichman; 1 p.m., Nathan Chess; 1:30 p.m., Allie Christopher; 2 p.m., Eyes Off Sinking; 4 p.m., Cross Vision Band; 5 p.m., closing vesper service .
The Harvest Festival is the historical society’s largest fundraiser of the year and is an important part of the museum budget.