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updated: 9/15/2012 4:52 PM

Lisle Depot Days brings visitors back in time

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  • Re-enactor Claude Pagacz of Elmhurst explains a Civil War-era cannon to Matt Fink of Naperville on Saturday during Depot Days in Lisle.

       Re-enactor Claude Pagacz of Elmhurst explains a Civil War-era cannon to Matt Fink of Naperville on Saturday during Depot Days in Lisle.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Teagan Pahl of Lisle makes rope Saturday during Depot Days in Lisle. Visitors also could grind corn into cornmeal and watch a Civil War cannon-firing demonstration at the event, which continues from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

       Teagan Pahl of Lisle makes rope Saturday during Depot Days in Lisle. Visitors also could grind corn into cornmeal and watch a Civil War cannon-firing demonstration at the event, which continues from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
 

Providing opportunities to "enjoy yesterday today" was the aim of Lisle Heritage Society volunteers who hosted the first day of Depot Days Saturday in conjunction with the Lisle Park District.

The event brought Civil War cannon-firing demonstrations, 19th Century children's games, hay rides and tours of Lisle's pioneer cemetery to The Museums at Lisle Station Park, where families took a step back in time.

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Andrew Kessler, 4, and his 5-year-old sister, Sophia, both were drawn to an old-fashioned corn grinding machine operated by Bob Vodicka of the Lisle Heritage Society, who let kids take a turn completing the two-step process of grinding a corn cob into cornmeal.

Andrew inserted a dried husk into one side of the grinder, then spun a wheel to knock the kernels into a bowl. He then poured the kernels into the other side of the machine, but needed some help from his grandmother, Elaine Wilson of Lisle, to finish the task.

"Use your muscles," Wilson said as she helped Andrew twist the wheel to finish grinding the kernels.

The family then moved on to one of Depot Days' main attractions, as they watched Civil War re-enactors from Taylor's Battery prepare and fire a cannon.

Fired by six men, the cannon launched a round that looked like a giant bullet, not a circular ball, into an open field across from the museums. Cannon demonstrations will take place hourly as Depot Days continues from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

"It's trying to teach people about a period of time in our history," re-enactor Claude Pagacz of Elmhurst said about the cannon demonstrations. "It's more than just a gun -- it's the life they had to lead."

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