The country fair held at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago over the weekend was about as old-school as you can get.
On hand at the sixth annual fair were exhibits and activities that would have been the main attractions at such events in the late 19th century.
Visitors on Sunday were greeted by a stilt-wearing Uncle Sam and whimsical musical notes from a hand-cranked instrument called a "Kalliorgel." Once on the fair's grounds, some visitors visited Professor Phineas Fairhead, a traveling phrenologist. (Phrenology was the 19th-century practice of determining a person's character by measuring his or her head.) Many of those with children made their way to Professor Marvel's Amazing Flea Circus.
There was a bit of hucksterism on display as well. Dr. Jack McRae's "Tent of Wonders" included such amazing (and dubious) items as a genie lamp, a skeleton of a Minotaur and two identical snowflakes -- shown in their melted form, of course.
"It's been a hot summer," Dr. McRae told one of his onlookers.
In addition, there were games, contests, hayrides and plenty of refreshments. The event was part of Kline Creek Farm's mission to keep the ways of the late 19th century alive. The farm is a living history museum owned and operated by the DuPage County Forest Preserve District.
"It's just a lot of fun," said Mary Helmond of Wheaton. "It's turned out to be a nice day, and this is a wonderful location here. And I really love the detail of everything -- the costumes, the way the people talk."
For more information on Kline Creek Farm, go to dupageforest.com.