The long string of beautiful autumn days ended just one day too soon this past Saturday, October 27, for the best interests of the Annual Buckeye Furnace Fall Festival.
The Friends of Buckeye Furnace conduct the event each year on the final Saturday in October to raise funds to benefit the local historic site as well as attract people to come see it. Volunteers from the Jackson Historical Society and the Friends work hard to organize and conduct the festival.
However, Saturday dawned gloomy and chilly and a light to moderate rain fell in the morning hours as the daylong event began. With most of the events and activities taking place outdoors, it was not surprising the weather greatly reduced the anticipated attendance.
Although the sun never did shine, most of the scheduled activities did take place. Atlee Miller was on hand to demonstrate blacksmithing, Wilbur Lewis demonstrated apple cider making, and Kathy Miller brought her spinning wheel. Also, several different vendors were on hand to sell their various wares. A pie auction served as a fundraising vehicle. Pat Hill was on hand with his horses, Doc and Chief, to offer carriage rides.
Jackson Historical Society member Bob Ervin and Berlin resident Ron Salmons had a station where they provided a wealth of local historical information. Ervin told visitors about the Morgan’s Raid Reenactment planned in Jackson for August 16-18, 2013, and Salmons had artifacts and information about the Battle Of Berlin Heights which occurred on his own property when General Morgan’s Confederate Calvary clashed with Union militia in July 1863.
On the food side, volunteers were selling the distinctive “hobo pies” and Chip and Cathy Smalley were offering soup beans made in an old-fashioned iron kettle. And while all this was happening, Dallas Warner was on hand to serenade the festival goers with a variety of familiar tunes.
Visitors stepping into the combined Museum/Store building could buy or see a variety of items relating to the charcoal iron furnace industry and other history. Also, Jackson Historical Society member Carl Sears played the role of host when visitors viewed a 12-minute video on Buckeye Furnace.