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posted: 10/2/2013 3:27 PM

Historic harvests recreated in fall festivals

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  • Prairie Children docents help gather apples during Durant Museum Heirloom Apple Fest in St. Charles.

      Prairie Children docents help gather apples during Durant Museum Heirloom Apple Fest in St. Charles.
    Courtesy of Durant House Museum

  • Visitors to McHenry County Historical Society's Cider Fest can watch how apples are ground up to make cider.

      Visitors to McHenry County Historical Society's Cider Fest can watch how apples are ground up to make cider.
    George LeClaire/Daily Herald 2002

  • Storyteller Reid Miller of Blue Mound, Wis., will sing songs and tell "tall tales and yarns" at Garfield Farm's Harvest Days.

      Storyteller Reid Miller of Blue Mound, Wis., will sing songs and tell "tall tales and yarns" at Garfield Farm's Harvest Days.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • Allison Ortlund, 9 of Aurora holds "Ruby," a standard cochin hen during a previous Harvest Days festival at Garfield Farm Museum.

      Allison Ortlund, 9 of Aurora holds "Ruby," a standard cochin hen during a previous Harvest Days festival at Garfield Farm Museum.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • Jack Saccoia saws off the horn tip of Doc, a 14-year-old oxen, at Garfield Farm Museum 30th annual Harvest Days. Saccoia, a volunteer exhibitor at the farm, was preparing the animal for a new round brass end fitting to help protect the horn and other animals.

       Jack Saccoia saws off the horn tip of Doc, a 14-year-old oxen, at Garfield Farm Museum 30th annual Harvest Days. Saccoia, a volunteer exhibitor at the farm, was preparing the animal for a new round brass end fitting to help protect the horn and other animals.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2011

 
Daily Herald staff report

The Fox Valley has a rich agricultural heritage. Several festivals this weekend allow visitors to experience a taste of what fall harvest time was like in days past.

Heirloom Apple Fest

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1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6

Durant House Museum, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles

Admission: $2 adults, $1 children

Enjoy apples that you have not seen in the grocery store during the Durant House Museum's annual heirloom apple fest. On Sunday, visitors can step back in time at the Durant House Museum and embrace fall and with its most iconic fruit. Durant House is located within the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. For more information, call (630) 377-6424.

Cider Fest

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6

McHenry County Historical Society, 6422 Main St., Union

Admission: Free, but donations are accepted

This year, the 36th Annual Cider Festival invites guests to participate in the inaugural Cider Fest Horseshoe Tournament starting at 10:30 a.m. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the entry fee is $5 a person. Visitors also may listen to the sounds of Charlie B and Friends between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and watch a barn raising beginning at 12:30 p.m. Throughout the day there will be harvest demonstrations, including broom making and old-fashioned cider making. Apple baked goods and kettle corn will be among the food items on sale. Rare books, antique clothing and hard-to-find items also will on sale during the society's biannual white elephant sale. Silent auction aficionados can bid on unique books being sold from the collection. They include an 1872 plat book and an 1885 county history book.

In addition to the museum, the Gannon family 1843 log cabin, the 1895 West Harmony one-room school and the newly updated mobile museum, The James, will be open free all day. The latest exhibit at The James is "You Auto Be in McHenry County," which recounts the transportation revolution and auto camp tourism which flourished between 1905 and 1930. Featured objects include early auto parts, county and state maps, 1920s clothing and camping gear and postcard photos of auto clubs and hill-climb races. For information, visit www.gothistory.org or call (815) 923-2267.

Harvest Days

11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6

Garfield Farm Museum, on Garfield Road, five miles west of Geneva off Route 38, Campton Hills

Admission: $6 for adults, $3 for children 12 and younger

Discover life before modern technology at Garfield Farm Museum's 32nd annual Harvest Days. Visitors can see how grain was processed and cider was pressed. Listen to traditional stories and songs by Reid Miller, "Teller of Tall Tales." There will be tours of the 1846 brick inn; a chance to see the museum's farm animals, including rare heritage breeds of chickens, turkeys, sheep, hogs and oxen; and tours of the museum's prairie. A bake sale will be held and refreshments offered in the museum's visitors center, the Atwell Burr House. For information, call (630) 584-8485 or email info@garfieldfarm.org. Visit [URL]www.garfieldfarm.org;http://www.garfieldfarm.org[URL].[/URL]

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