Defining state lines program Saturday
as Historic Forestville gets busy this fall
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 3:49 AM
When the stars align, there are plenty of lines to state.
"With 19th century settlement, there came boundary lines, surveys and mapping of new territories. As the village of Forestville was platted out during the mid-19th century prior to Minnesota becoming a state in 1858, we felt that sharing the process of surveying would be of interest to visitors," said Historic Forestville site manager Sandy Scheevel, looking forward to this Saturday's interpretive program, "Defining State Lines in the 1850s."
"Don Borcherding is a retired engineer whose passion for surveying and learning about early surveying in particular has led him on many journeys throughout our country. Don takes on the role of Andrew Talcott, a surveyor who in the early 1800s helped establish the boundaries of Ohio, Michigan and the state line between Iowa and Minnesota," said Scheevel. "Borcherding will talk about the early practice of surveying and explain the 'Talcott Method' for determining latitude by observing stars near their zenith. Don will be sharing his expertise with a short video presentation as well and bringing along many instruments of the trade to share his knowledge of. He will also ask visitors to assist him as he uses the Talcott Method and surveys areas of the village of Forestville, which will show the original boundary lines and markers of early Forestville."
Defining State Lines in the 1850s is set for this Saturday, Aug. 24, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Historic Forestville.
The program is a new addition to the regular interpretive season, a welcome refreshment of the historic town's itinerary.
"We have presented several new programs this season, and this is one of them. We wanted to offer new history-based programs and to offer our visitors additional subject matter to further deepen their appreciation of history," said Scheevel. "I visited with Mr. Borcherding and he is very passionate about his research and knowledge of surveying. It was amazing to listen to his stories. I think visitors will feel the same."
The next interpretive program at Historic Forestville, By the Light of the Lantern, will bring the village to life at dusk, when the residents are enjoying leisure - farmhands playing cards and pulling pranks in the barn, ladies of the house discussing important topics such as voting rights, the shopkeeper compounding medicines in the general store, and Thomas Meighen closing out the day's business in his office as music wafts on the starlit breeze. By the Light of the Lantern is set for next Saturday, Aug. 31, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Bring in the sheaves from the field on Harvest Day, Saturday, Oct. 5, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., sharing in the work of keeping a farm humming during the fall. Village visitors will learn about planting, cultivating and harvesting crops, watch corn harvesting, grain fanning, cider pressing in the old wooden cider press, shell corn, stitch on a quilt in the yard and follow the aroma of apple pie to the Meighen kitchen. Best yet, there are pumpkins for the little ones to pick and take home.
The final stir of the season is coming on Apple Butter Day, Saturday, Oct. 12, as the old 20-gallon copper kettle is set on the wood fire in the Meighen farmyard and put to work boiling down apple cider into apple butter, a brew that was commonly used to cover bread, rolls and buns when more expensive things like jam were saved for special occasions. The day-long pot-stirring - from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - promises sweet rewards that even the bees know not to resist.
The best news yet at Historic Forestville is that full tours will now be available throughout September and October. The site will now be open for general public tours on Saturdays in September and October, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last tour starting at 4 p.m. each Saturday.
"When the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) decided to add additional days to our schedule, it was an easy decision - fall," said Scheevel. "The site is located in one of the most beautiful fall settings, with all of the spectacular maple trees here in Forestville-Mystery Cave State Park. Increased attendance is always a good thing, but MHS' objective is to create more accessibility for visitors to the historic sites and this will fulfill the mission."
Admission to Historic Forestville is $7 adults, $6 seniors and college students, $5 children age 6 to 17; and a $1 discount for MHS members. Historic Forestville is located inside Forestville-Mystery Cave State Park at 21899 County Rd 118, Preston, MN, 55965. For more information, call (507) 765-2785 or log onto the Minnesota Historical Society's website at www.mnhs.org and search for Historic Forestville.