Dawes County History in Action | TheFencePost.com

Dawes County History in Action

Beth Gibbons
Crawford, Neb.

Outside activities, like the spinning wheel, were of interest at the History in Action at Dawes County Historical Museum located three miles south of Chadron. 

For over a dozen years the Dawes County Museum in Chadron, Neb., has been conducting the History In Action program for the public each fall. Everything is free and available for hands on activities for everyone.

Over 450 people attended this year and had a wonderful time. Little children learned much from observing the butter churning, treadle sewing machine, corn shelling, wheat grinding, rope baskets, leather tooling, spinning wheel, apple pressing into juice, ice cream cones, cookies and lemonade plus singing in the old church. The bequeath donation of over 2,000 old toys was an attraction by itself displayed in lovely glass covered cabinets donated by community individuals. Other items have been moved into a new building to make room for the old toys. 

Other activities at the History in Action Day included the baby animals at the farm. There were alpaca’s, little horses and baby puppies. Rides were offered in the Fort Robinson Stage Coach, a tractor pulled hay rack and a hay sled pulled by a gentle team of horses.

The museum was cleaned and the toys were organized for the celebration. Everyone working at the Museum which is open Memorial Day through Labor Day are volunteers. Lila Ahrens calls for volunteers to work at the museum. Travelers come through from all over. Some this year even came from England.

There are displays belonging to ancestors who learned to survive in this country. You would notice the ice saws, horseshoes with grips on the bottoms for walking on ice. Chips of ice were used to cool lemonade made by squeezing real lemons. Other chunks of ice were in pails or cream cans of water taken to the field during grain harvest, haying and hot weather activities. A spring house was used to cool milk, cream and eggs. Fruits of gardens and orchards were fresh for eating only a short while. The museum collections include canning jars, rubber seals, and canners which boiled the jars for hours on wood burning stoves. Salting and fermenting foods and beverages extended the food life for later consuming. Bottle caps, crocks and such are in the museum collections.

Our ancestors worked hard to provide for their families and there are records of their work at the museum. There are also records of births, deaths and weddings.

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Many come to the museum to find family records. One such instance several family members were arguing about a date of their ancestors birth. One said, “I knew it.” While the other was never convinced that she wan not correct.

There are the records of the Chadron to Chicago horse race that drew world wide attention. The hide of the winning horse and the gun used to start the race is among the pictures memorializing that famous horse race.

For more information about the Dawes County Historic Museum please visit http://www.Chadron.com/MemberPages/DCHM or call (308) 432-4999.

For over a dozen years the Dawes County Museum in Chadron, Neb., has been conducting the History In Action program for the public each fall. Everything is free and available for hands on activities for everyone.

Over 450 people attended this year and had a wonderful time. Little children learned much from observing the butter churning, treadle sewing machine, corn shelling, wheat grinding, rope baskets, leather tooling, spinning wheel, apple pressing into juice, ice cream cones, cookies and lemonade plus singing in the old church. The bequeath donation of over 2,000 old toys was an attraction by itself displayed in lovely glass covered cabinets donated by community individuals. Other items have been moved into a new building to make room for the old toys. 

Other activities at the History in Action Day included the baby animals at the farm. There were alpaca’s, little horses and baby puppies. Rides were offered in the Fort Robinson Stage Coach, a tractor pulled hay rack and a hay sled pulled by a gentle team of horses.

The museum was cleaned and the toys were organized for the celebration. Everyone working at the Museum which is open Memorial Day through Labor Day are volunteers. Lila Ahrens calls for volunteers to work at the museum. Travelers come through from all over. Some this year even came from England.

There are displays belonging to ancestors who learned to survive in this country. You would notice the ice saws, horseshoes with grips on the bottoms for walking on ice. Chips of ice were used to cool lemonade made by squeezing real lemons. Other chunks of ice were in pails or cream cans of water taken to the field during grain harvest, haying and hot weather activities. A spring house was used to cool milk, cream and eggs. Fruits of gardens and orchards were fresh for eating only a short while. The museum collections include canning jars, rubber seals, and canners which boiled the jars for hours on wood burning stoves. Salting and fermenting foods and beverages extended the food life for later consuming. Bottle caps, crocks and such are in the museum collections.

Our ancestors worked hard to provide for their families and there are records of their work at the museum. There are also records of births, deaths and weddings.

Many come to the museum to find family records. One such instance several family members were arguing about a date of their ancestors birth. One said, “I knew it.” While the other was never convinced that she wan not correct.

There are the records of the Chadron to Chicago horse race that drew world wide attention. The hide of the winning horse and the gun used to start the race is among the pictures memorializing that famous horse race.

For more information about the Dawes County Historic Museum please visit http://www.Chadron.com/MemberPages/DCHM or call (308) 432-4999.