Living history day planned at Hayden museum

Staff Reports

Having canceled the Pioneer Days event last year, officials with the Hayden Historical Museum have decided to combine Pioneer Days with Hayden’s Harvest Past this year, making it a double-feature living history day.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 4 on the grounds of the museum.

The first event that day will be the annual Luke Elsner Memorial 5K Run/Walk at Hayden Elementary School. Registration is a 7 a.m., and the race will begin at 8 a.m. Proceeds will go into the scholarship endowment fund that was established with the Jennings County Community Foundation in memory of Luke Elsner. Luke, the son of Andy and Amber Elsner, died in 2007 at the age of 2½ from a heart ailment.

Hayden United Methodist Church will be serving breakfast for a freewill donation from 7 to 10 a.m.

The museum buildings, including the Sullivan blacksmith shop, 1947 Sinclair gas station and A Place Called Yesterday, will open at 9 a.m. along with the museum grounds, where many of the pioneer-related exhibits and demonstrations will be on display throughout the day.

Some of the demonstrations and exhibits will include one- and two-man cross-cut sawing, corn shelling, a full-size teepee lodge, wood carving, chair caning, weaving with a loom, spinning wheel, quilting, blacksmith working at the Sullivan shop and rope making.

Some members of the Fish Creek Long Rifle Club will be on hand to demonstrate musket loading and shooting and the skill of knife and tomahawk throwing.

Hayden’s Harvest Past is the museum’s event to recognize the agricultural heritage of the Spencer Township community. The backyard will be transformed into a display of antique farm equipment. Along with the tractors, implements and one-cylinder engines, garden tractors and lawn mowers will be featured.

As in the past, Mary Ann Maschino and her son, Lenny, will have their peddle tractor mobile museum onsite for visitors to see.

There will be no entry fees, judging or prizes for anyone bringing a tractor. The tractors do not have to be in showroom condition, as this event is held to provide an informal opportunity for all tractor owners to be a part of the show. There will be a parade of the tractors around Hayden at 3 p.m.

The annual pie baking contest will be held again this year as part of the festivities. Contestants can bring one or more fruit pies or pies that don’t need to be refrigerated to be judged to the Hayden museum kitchen any time between 9 and 11 a.m.

Judging will begin at 11 a.m., and the pies will be graded on appearance and taste. Awards will be given for the first-, second- and third-place pies.

Volunteer auctioneer Tom Lawson will auction off the top three pies at noon in the pavilion. Everyone is welcome to bid on the prize-winning pies, and the more bidders there are, the more entertaining the auction will be. All other pie entries will be sliced and offered in exchange for a freewill donation.

Proceeds will be used for the museum’s renovation project of former Indiana Gov. Edgar Whitcomb’s family home.

The Spencer Township Volunteer Fire Department will begin serving barbecue chicken dinners at noon. The dinners include a half of chicken, two sides, a dinner roll and a drink for $10. Carryout orders also are available.

There also will be musical entertainment in the pavilion. At 10:30 a.m., the Scattertack Band will be performing. It was formed in 1984 and has been playing music in Jennings County longer than any other band. At 1 p.m., a group of musicians and singers will be putting on a performance to pay tribute to a longtime instrumentalist from the area, Tim Miles, who died June 16.

The 1947 Sinclair gas station will be open for visitors. Old-fashioned snacks and cold glass bottles of soda will be available in exchange for a donation. The concession stand in the pavilion will be open serving food and snacks. Menu items will be priced.

A new attraction this year will be Kovener Korner’s ice cream truck, which will be parked between the old gas station and the Ed Whitcomb house from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

This year’s special photograph exhibit will feature 45 pictures that depict the evolution of the museum buildings and grounds from 1990 to the present. These will be on a display board in the exhibit area of the museum.

Parking is free and available at the museum property and nearby fields. Jennings County High School FFA members will assist in getting everyone in and out of the parking lots. Shuttle wagons will be running between the museum, blacksmith shop and fire station throughout the day.

This is a free event, but the hope is that visitors will consider dropping a donation in one of the containers at the old gas station, A Place Called Yesterday, inside the museum or at the pie stand in the pavilion.

The buildings and grounds will close at 5 p.m.