Heat and humidity still attract crowd

PALMER – The hot and stormy weather throughout the day Sunday couldn’t keep visitors away from the Wiegert Prairie’s Fall Fest.

Although the festival closed about an hour earlier than expected due to the 90 degree weather and a brief thunderstorm Sunday morning, there were still activities and events happening in the afternoon.

On one part of the Wiegert Prairie, a cool breeze and shade provided by several large bushes and trees provided the perfect spot for several children to make their own toys.

Marcia Leu, of Fonda, helped the children with the activity.

“It’s so green down here,” Leu said. “You’re all closed in pretty tight, and we’ve been really busy here in the breeze.”

The weather wasn’t bothering her.

“Just seeing the kids makes it worth it,” she said.

On the other side of the property, Myrna Janssen, of Palmer, was giving a tour of a house built in 1884.

“We’re showing the home and how the family would have lived,” she said. “The cast-iron cooking stove would have been the main centerpiece of the house.”

One part of the house included in the tour was a bathtub with a portable gas heater. Though she admitted she wasn’t 100 percent sure how it worked, she did say the family had to pour water into it and using gas, it would heat up.

“It collapses and you can store it,” she said. “A portable bathtub is what I would call it.”

Earlier in the day, Corinne Peterson, a naturalist with the Pocahontas County Conservation Board, which maintains the Wiegert property, said there were food demonstrations. This was to honor this year’s theme, “A Taste of the Past.”

“They were churning butter, making cornbread and cooking,” Peterson said. “We also had people making applesauce and had a kitchen working.”

Peterson added there was also a display featuring some of Harry Wiegert’s toys, as well as a wedding dress on display and church service held in the morning.