High Ground Museum to host annual ‘hay day’

By The Mercury

History comes to life this Saturday at the High Ground Museum outside Council Grove.

“Everybody’s welcome to come ‘relive exactly what it used to be like’ during our annual open house and hay day,” said Lloyd Florence.

Florence and his wife, Marlene, will host the event at their own museum 6 miles northeast of Council Grove on Old Highway 4.

Florence noted that the private on-farm museum, including historical pieces from rural living of more than 160 years ago, is generally open only by appointment. “But all of the buildings are to be “open for browsing” during the open house,” he said. Admission is free.

“We do this because we want to, and desire to share our collections and interests with the public,” Florence said. “Many people have no idea what our ancestors did, and this will give them somewhat of an idea.”

Because it’s a “hay day,” there will be old time hay making. “We’ll have demonstrations of haying with horses and men, along with horse-powered and tractor-powered hay machines,” Florence said. They will also be making apple cider with an apple press from 1905.

Local cowboy poet Don Thomas is to entertain with his rhythmic yarns and tales.

Among the other “demonstrations our ancestors did daily” will be hand corn shelling and grinding, a working buzz saw, spinning wool, hand quilting, rug crocheting, butter churning and rope making.

A stationary engine is to be in operation, and a vintage firearms demonstration has been scheduled. Additionally, there will be a cow chip-throwing contest, and a hay tunnel is being setup for the kids.

Lunch of barbequed pork and beef, and all the extras, will be available, and there is to be a special drawing for prizes being given by the hosts.

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