The sound of a blacksmith’s hammer forging metal against an anvil blended with the smoke from primitive campsites and a few colorful autumn leaves at Buckeye Woods Park during Pioneers in the Park, the first of 10 stops on the 50th annual Medina County Fall Foliage Tour on Sunday afternoon.
“My mountain man name is Johnny Two Feathers,” Roger Badida, 71, of Canal Fulton, said from his early 1800s style campsite at the park.
Badida was one of several re-enactors participating in the event, showcasing what life was like on the old western frontier as the Northwest Territory began to be explored and states were formed during the early 19th century.
“Years ago a man in our family had built muzzleloaders … and he got us into this kind of stuff,” Badida said of his interest in the time period.
Historic crafts also were showcased during the event, with William Mills, of Vermilion, demonstrating chair caning.
“It is something that has been around for hundreds of years,” Mills said. “It is a very comfortable stylish way of putting a seat in a chair.”
Mills said that he learned the art from his wife about 40 years ago when he was restoring furniture in the couple’s basement.
“My wife said to me if you are going to keep on doing this kind of work, you better learn to do your own caning,” he said.
Mills said that the majority of modern caning is machine made, and he hopes to offer a class so more people can learn how to cane furniture.
“The reason that I do it is because the joy that it gives people,” Mills said. “When they come to me they have a junk chair, pretty much unusable and when they come back they are just so pleased to see it.”
Abby Winebrenner, of Lodi, and sons Grayson, 8, and Hayden, 7, were checking out historic crafts at the park.
“My husband actually has come every year, this is my first year, so my two children came last year and we just had the day off work and it was recommended,” Winebrenner said.
Winebrenner said both her sons are Boy Scouts, and the family tries to attend different events in the county.
Grayson said he was enjoying learning about the historic crafts, especially the blacksmith and candle dipping.
A showcase of antique farm equipment blended with a modern farm operation at Richman farms in Harrisville Township, the eighth stop on the tour.
One of the farm’s owners, Tom Indoe, said the farm has been in his family since 1937, and is a regular stop on the Medina County Farm Foliage Tour.
“It gets the farm cleaned up, I guess,” Indoe joked.
In addition to antique tractors and farm equipment, visitors were welcome to take a look at the farm’s cattle and modern farming equipment.
Indoe said it helps people who did not grow up around farming gain an understanding of where their food actually comes from.
A scenic drive to the Lodi-Harrisville Historical Society, 111 Harris St., Lodi, provided leaf peepers with a look at the area’s history displayed in the society’s home in the circa-1890 Waite-Harris House.
“We have only had a permanent residence for about a year now, so people are just now finding out that we actually have a place that they can come and visit and see,” volunteer Wendy Warner said during the event.
Event chairwoman Beth Schnabel previously told The Gazette that in 1968, the tour was designed to be a farm tour, but as the county became less rural, it expanded to include history.
Other stops on the 2018 Fall Foliage Tour included:
- Northern Ohio Railway Museum, 5515 Buffham Road, Seville;
- Morning Star Farm Ministries, 9421 Friendsville Road, Seville;
- Lodi Library, 635 Wooster St., Lodi;
- Lodi Railroad Museum, 204 Railroad St., Lodi;
- Mack’s Food Center, 9945 Greenwich Road, Lodi;
- Pine Crest Farms, 7586 River Corners, Spencer;
- Circle B Stables, 5815 Root Road, Spencer.