A glimpse of pioneer days

Area residents will have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of what pioneer life may have been like in Webster City as the Wilson Brewer Park Museums and Visitor Center hosts the annual Heritage Day Celebration on Saturday.

A craft show-flea market will kick things off at the park, beginning at 6 a.m. Organizers said there are double the number of vendors from previous years. Volunteers will be selling coffee and donuts on the grounds and items from the Depot gift shop will also be available for sale. The day will also include games, displays on the grounds, music and even a magic show, according to organizers. But Webster City history will be the star of the day at the park.

“We have a lot of new things this year,” said volunteer Cheryl Patrou. Volunteers have been working since April to mount new displays, clean up and rearrange other displays. Visitors will have a chance to see a collection of vintage cameras in the basement of the Depot.

“We had a lot of vintage cameras from the old camera club along with others that have been donated,” Patrou said. The basement now houses two cases with the vintage cameras prominently on display.

The Hamilton Heritage Hunters will also be on hand in the basement of the Depot to share ideas about researching family history.

Upstairs at the Depot, the volunteers have added more items, including a display commemorating the 100 years of Boy Scouting in Webster City. Heritage Day visitors will have a chance to preview the display before the September celebration honoring the scouting tradition.

For the first time, according to Patrou, all of the buildings on the grounds of the Wilson Brewer Historic Park and Visitors Center will be open for Heritage Day. She said the Brewer-Groves cabin has been spruced up and rearranged to show a tableau of pioneer life, including a table set for the family meal, a cradle and rocking chair by the fireplace. The Jameson Cabin will also be open for public viewing. The Jameson cabin was built by Charles and Jacob Jameson around 1850, south of Duncombe near the Brushy Creek area. Various family members lived there until 1913. The cabin sat empty until around 1933, when Frank Bonebright acquired it and moved it to the Bonebright Museum Complex.

“The cabin will have a lot of interesting things, including a display of antique washing machines,” she said.

“The courthouse has also rearranged and new display cases have been added,” she said.

Patrou said the buildings will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with volunteers available to answer questions and point out exhibits.

Live music will be featured at 1 p.m. in the Mulberry Center Church. Just outside the old courthouse, those attending will have a chance to witness a reenactment of the very first murder trial in Hamilton County at 11a.m.

The annual car show begins at 9 a.m. in front of the Depot, according to Patrou. At 10 a.m., games for children will be hosted in the center courtyard.

Lunch will be available for sale by Boy Scout Troop 17 beginning at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m., Magician Larry Dunbar will present a show. Demonstrations will take place throughout the day, covering subjects like gas-combustion engines, butter making, wood carving, use of herbs and many others.