New Castle News

Local News

September 30, 2013

Photos, Story: Festival recreates era of grist mill

Photos, Story: Festival recreates era of grist mill

NEW CASTLE — History came to life this weekend at the 21st annual McConnell’s Mill Heritage Days Festival.

The two-day event, which seems to grow in size and attendance every year, featured a variety of displays, food, music, and activities. The Heritage Days Festival is meant to celebrate the just over 75-year time period in which the grist mill was operational, from 1852 through 1928.

The celebration got under way around 10 a.m. Saturday as costumed vendors set up booths featuring sales of their handmade arts and crafts inspired by the era. Other booths featured homemade canned goods or historical displays.

Costumed tribute artists walked around as Gen. Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln, and one booth featured abolitionist Clara Barton explaining her role and activities during the Civil War.

Speaking of the Civil War, a camp complete with costumed Union soldiers explained life during the war and featured a battery of cannons that were fired throughout the day.

Food vendors of all kinds lined the midways, and festival goers had no reason to go away hungry.

Other historical displays included examples of classic kitchen utensils, turn-of-the-century steam engines, a genuine Native American teepee that visitors could enter and a metal forging and ironworks display.

One booth featured an opportunity for young ones to simulate panning for gold and treasures in a flowing stream. For 8-year-old Christopher Ralston and his brother Lucas, 6, this was the highlight of the festival. Both had tried their luck and found treasures  in their pans. Christopher discovered several gemstones and some pointed teeth he said were shark teeth, while Lucas discovered a chunk of (fool’s) gold among his treasures.

The boys’ father, Robert, said the festival was a great way to spend some time together with his sons.

Debbie Merck and Dee Evans made the trip from Pittsburgh and were impressed by what they found.

“This is a really nice festival with a lot of cool stuff, a nice mix of food and art, and crafts,” Merck said.

“And a beautiful pretty day, too,”  Evans added.

Others throughout the day echoed similar sentiments, as they enjoyed activities ranging from blue grass bands and arts demonstrations to a tour of the old mill itself or just sitting on a bench and enjoying a bag of fresh-made kettle corn or a slice of home-baked pie.

For many, the McConnell’s Mill Heritage Festival has become an annual tradition and the chance to enjoy one final festival before the weather turns cold.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • FallenWarriorRide.jpg Fallen Warrior Ride to preface soldier tribute

    Area motorcyclists will be heading out once again this month to pay tribute to the nation’s soldiers and veterans. The second annual Fallen Warrior Ride is scheduled to leave Cascade Park at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 for a one-hour, circuitous route to Laurel High School. Once there, riders — led by the Patriot Honor Guard of Western Pennsylvania — will parade into the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, where they’ll join a Salute to the American Soldiers: For God and Country, a crusade by Vision Ministries of Lawrence County.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOVEkitchen.jpg Love Kitchen: Little Caesars provides special delivery for Rescue Mission

    The Little Caesars Love Kitchen rolled into the City Rescue Mission for a special delivery Wednesday. A pizza kitchen on wheels, the big rig travels across the United States and Canada to meet the needs of the hungry, the homeless and disaster survivors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • fairphoto.jpg County fair looks for a few good bakers

    The countdown to the 2014 Lawrence County Fair has begun. In less than two weeks, the fairgrounds will be brimming with animals, vegetables, fruit, flowers, music, food and fun. This year’s fair runs from Aug. 11 to 16.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • CarolineOrrico.jpg Local teen off to state DYW event

    Lawrence County’s 2015 Distinguished Young Woman is heading back into scholarship competition.

     

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NicholsonOffice.jpg County to buy new office for Nicholson

    Before the end of the year, the Lawrence County commissioners plan to move District Judge Jennifer Nicholson into new offices.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • PortersvilleSS.jpg Portersville Steam Show summer event arrives

    The Portersville Steam Show will stage its summer event Thursday through Sunday at its show grounds.

     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veteran.jpg Veterans seminar to view technology

    A veterans benefits seminar has been set for Friday. The program will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the commissioners room of the Lawrence County courthouse.

     
     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Part-time guard position created

    The Lawrence County Salary Board created a part-time temporary court guard position Tuesday.

     

    July 30, 2014

  • JaredGustafson.jpg Mohawk senior Jared Gustafson elected nation FCCLA officer

    A Mohawk High student was elected to national office at a leadership conference in Texas. Senior Jared Gustafson now is the 2014-2015 national vice president of parliamentary law for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • PipeDreams.jpg Concert to feature sounds of ’60s

    This week’s Friday Night Live at Riverwalk Amphitheater will feature a 1960s theme. Entertainment will be provided by Pipe Dreams. The group performs a tribute to the British Invasion and American rock ’n roll with music from The Beatles, Stones, Doors, Monkees and hits from Motown and Philly.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo