Homer Fall Festival Promises
Fun for Everyone
The Homer Historical Society Fall Festival features activities and demonstrations
typical of a day of life on a farm.
Join us at Blair Historical Farm, one mile east of Homer
on M-60, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This year, the main feature is the addition of the old Albion Township Hall which has found it's new home on the Blair Farm. Much work had to be done before the
structure was physically disassembled and moved. Members had to decide where to place the building, grade the site and put in a basement. Permits were obtained and contractors were contacted and costs were estimated. The Historical Society expects to invest over $30,000 in the project and fundraising will take place at the Fall Festival.
“It was a big challenge,” said Historical Society member Bruce Miller who worked with a committee to organize the move. “Getting the building’s floor cut in half lengthways, sliding two long poles under it, lifting it up onto the trailer with a hydraulic crane, and then getting the poles out from under it was one of the hardest parts of the move,” he said.
Historical Society members are excited that the building is in place in time for the Fall Festival, but all of the interior work will probably not be completed by then. In addition to much-needed storage, the township hall will be used for Historical Society meetings, special exhibits, programs for the public and educational events for school children.
In support of the project, the Historical Society has created two collectible, white ceramic coffee mugs, one celebrating the Albion Township Hall and one of the Blair Farm. They will be sold at the festival for $6 each with a bonus of free coffee, ice tea or lemonade refills all day.
Approximately 20 homespun linen, wool and cotton coverlets from a unique collection will be a special Fall Festival display. The coverlets belong to Historical Society member John Kinney who became interested in them through his late Grandmother Kinney who had several. “She had them in a trunk, and every year or so she got them out and put moth balls in them, and she’d tell stories about them,” said Kinney who enjoyed the stories and the coverlets that prompted the telling of them.
The display will include some of these coverlets, a linen sheet made by his great, great grandmother Kinney, a wool sheet made by his great, great grandmother Paddock, and several others he has collected through the years. “There will be several weaving styles, and a lot of them are done with homemade dyes,” Kinney said.
Other demonstrations will feature soap making, woodstove cooking and a working sawmill along with displays of antique farm machinery, antique engines, and tools.
Visitors can walk the nature trail and tour the Victorian Era farmhouse that was once the home of Albert and Ella Blair and their daughters Maude and Bessie Blair. Albert was the son of Homer pioneer Dr. George Blair, who was Homer’s first doctor. The Homespun Strings with Janice Boden and friends will entertain from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Uncle Carl’s Dulcimer Club will play from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Both groups are long time Fall Festival favorites.
Area crafters will sell a variety of handmade goods and garden items. Other items available for purchase include the recently published 250-page Homer area history entitled Ties to Homer and traditional Blair Farm apple butter.
Continuing a service that began in 2004, the Homer Historical Society is collaborating with Senior Health Partners, a community partnership of Battle Creek Health System, Burnham Brook Center and Summit Pointe, to bring the CareAVan health screening services to the Blair Farm from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free blood pressure screening, blood sugar testing and pulse-ox testing will be provided.
A campfire cooking demonstration will show a complete meal, including
an angel food cake, prepared over an open fire.
At 3 p.m. a hand made quilt in the Dresden Plate pattern measuring 60' x 92", which was donated to the Homer Historical Society, will be raffled. Prior to Fall Festival, tickets can be purchased ($1 each, 6 for $5) by contacting Society members or during the day at the Festival.
Musical entertainment will include:
The Homespun Strings will perform in the festival tent from 11 a.m.
p.m., and Uncle Carl's Dulcimer Club will perform there from 1:00 p.m.
to 2:30 p.m. Both groups have played at the Fall Festival for many
Apple butter, a traditional Fall Festival staple
will be sold. Advance orders are encouraged by calling 517-568-7348.
Other highlights include
a variety of antique farm machinery displays, a craft sale, Civil war
reinactors display, and corn cakes.
Visitors can walk the Blair Farm nature trail and tour the Blair family
home. The land was part of a U.S. Land Grant and was purchased in 1835
by Dr. George Blair. His son Albert built the original part of the house
to replace a log cabin after he was married in 1875, and the front portion
was built by a local carpenter for the Blair family in 1879.
The festival's a la carte menu includes harvest soup, bratwurst sandwiches,
baked beans, homemade pies and beverages.
There is no admission charge.