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Volunteers busy preparing food, items for annual Mill Festival

FPS staff report

The 42nd annual Algonquin Mill Festival will be held Oct. 12-14 at the Mill Farm Complex on SR 332, four miles south of Carrollton.

“Hands on” is one-way to describe the past year’s activities and preparations for the upcoming festival, according to Dave McMahon, Carroll County Historical Society president. 

The lower pavilion, which houses the food stands run by CCHS, Carrollton Masons and the Carroll County Humane Society, has been completely refurbished.  A new roof was put in place close to five years ago but it was time to overhaul it, noted McMahon. 

“We combined old and new materials, recycling as much as we could on the project,” said McMahon.  “The bottom height of the new rafters is higher than the peak of the old building.” 

While “recycling” for the pavilion, a number of rafters have been used to begin work on a new supply and storage building.  The building is being built behind the upper pavilion near the farmhouse.  The society expects it to be completed for the 2013 festival.

Volunteers will also be working reconstructing a springhouse taken apart and located on festival grounds. 

“Rosebud Mining generously donated the Nivin-Beckley springhouse to us,” said McMahon.  “We excavated an area near the spring below the Arboretum where the spring flowed all summer.” 

The springhouse measures 10x14-feet and stands six-courses of cut stone high.  Originally the springhouse was located about 50-feet from the Nivin-Beckley farmhouse, which the society is in the process of acquiring.  Rosebud Mining has also donated the Underground Railroad station home to the CCHS, which is in the planning stages of moving the home.  The Nivin-Beckley farm is located on Autumn Rd. off Steubenville Rd. 

“This has been a very busy and very rewarding year,” said McMahon.  “We are looking forward to a good festival to top off the year.” 

Volunteers have been busy transforming nine ton of cabbage into sauerkraut, preparing over 1,400 dozen cookies and canning gallons and gallons of homemade apple butter. 

“Unlike other festivals who contract items out, we try to make as much ‘in-house and homemade’ as possible,” said McMahon.  “I just read an article saying another sauerkraut festival orders finished sauerkraut.” 

Fresh ground wheat and white flour will be used in the bread house and oven to bake over 1,700 loaves of bread, also handmade. 

Along with society made foods, there will be a wide variety of other foods available.  Demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the pioneer village setting.

Souvenirs and vendor wares will also be for sale.  The society issues collectible patches dated for each year.  “The patch for this year has been in the works for over a year,” stated McMahon.  “We decided prior to last year’s festival to feature the print shop for 2012.  We took several pictures during the festival and created the patch.”

The patch shows the printer working at the 1899 Chandler-Price hand operated letter press.  The operator, Jacob Tinlin, a senior at The Ohio State University, has been attending the festival and spending time in the print shop since he was a toddler.  A history buff, Tinlin eventually began running the press and was a hit with school kids on Fridays. 

“The patch represents a generational affect of the Mill festival,” said McMahon.  “Jacob, and now his younger siblings, are taking on the responsibility of keeping history alive by volunteering with the society and during the festival.”

Tinlin has learned the trade from his stepfather, Todd Rutledge, who began working at the Mill Festival in 1991 with his late grandfather, Herb Rutledge, a descendent of George Tope who originally built the flour mill.

“The patch is a perfect replica of walking into the print shop,” said McMahon. 

The 42nd Algonquin Mill Festival begins at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. with a church service Sunday and is open until 5 p.m. each day.  Admission is $8 per vehicle.

“We invite everyone out to the festival,” McMahon said.  “The society is trying to improve the grounds and event any way we can.  We look forward to seeing you.” 

The McCook House Civil War museum, located on Public Square in Carrollton is open during festival hours. 

For more information about the festival or McCook House, call the Carroll County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 1-800-877-0103 or visit www.carrollcountyohio.com.

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