History Day at Kiersted House

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Photos by David Gordon


A rainy morning didn’t stop the planned celebration of local history Saturday, Oct. 11, but it did slow it down. The usual demonstrations of Native American and colonial life that generally fill the lawn were reduced to just two.

Stuart Lehman, dressed in period garb, showed his collection of antique household items and implements, including quill pens and inkpots, home decorations and – to the fascination of at least one young visitor – a fire lighter that could have been a precursor to a Zippo. Visitors were invited to try out writing with a quill pen.

Ron and Shirley Rifenburg, in period costume, fed a campfire with antique teapots and a pair of what looked like tin cans on them. The cans were used to burn pieces of linen in a closed environment to produce carbon, which would light quickly when struck by a spark. In order to start a fire, this short-lived flame would have to be immediately applied to tinder, such as dried grass or wood shavings.


Inside the Kiersted House, Bill Nieffer displayed his artifacts on a table, historian Audrey Klinkenberg discussed history and displayed documents and members of American Legion Post 72 displayed a small part of their extensive collection of historical artifacts.

The program featured music from the revolutionary period to the Civil War. Linda Russell sang, led the audience in singing and played a variety of instruments, including Appalachian dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, guitar, tin whistle, and wooden clackers shaped like people and animals. Each song was preceded by a brief history lesson that put the song in context.

Veterans in a New Field performed its repertoire of Civil War-era songs, along with other folk songs from the country’s history. The group consists of, from right to left, Dale Wellwood, William Payne, R.J. Butler, Kevin Karashay and Kevin Umhey.