Going back in time

October 6, 2017


A load of guests on the hayride during “Old Fashion Day” pass the Dover School.

A load of guests on the hayride during “Old Fashion Day” pass the Dover School.

By Steve Landon

This past Saturday folks looking to reflect back on simpler less stressful times had a chance to do a little time traveling at the annual Clare County Historical Society Museum “Old Fashion Day”.  Held at the societies museum complex at the corner of Dover and Eberhart roads north of Clare, the event officially closed out the museums summer season.

Bright sunny sky’s and record warm temperatures greeted visitors providing the perfect setting for an early autumn day of family fun geared to giving young and old a look at area history in action. This year’s event once again featured popular old fashion music, antique vehicles, hayrides, games, special exhibits, food, speakers, an old fashioned working blacksmith shop and more.

The Dover School opened back in 1876 when America was just 100 years old was buzzing with activity. Kids rang the old school bell, set in old time school desks and wondered what life was like in a one-room school free of today’s high tech educational tools. Visitors chatted with senior citizens who once attended a country school.  Others looked at displays and glanced through old classroom materials remembering family who had once sat in those seats, while others reminisced about the stories they had been told by parents and grandparents who walked many miles in waist deep snow to get to school and the warmth of a potbellied stove that heated the classroom.

Jennifer Greene of Clare talked with visitors about the areas Native Americans, displayed artifacts and a re-creation of a wigwam. She also displayed and made Native American crafts.

In addition to visiting the main museum building that traces the history of Clare County guests had a chance to tour the original Ott Family home, a small two-story log cabin where Louie and Emma Ott raised their 18 children.

The Clare County MSU Extension office had a booth recognizing the history the MSU Extension and the 4-H program. The booth also offered a craft activity for youngsters. Junior 4-H Ambassador Jennifer Dietsch was on hand to help out along with several other 4-H members.

Those who have never visited The Clare County Historical Museum are missing out on a real treat. The volunteers who have worked hard over the years to put this museum together know what it takes to make local history interesting not just for old timers and history buffs but for people of all ages.  Next summer take a break from your weekend activities and come on out to the museum where the history of Clare County history comes alive. Summer hours are Saturday 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Check them out on Facebook under Clare County Historical Society.


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