Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2014

History program set Nov. 3 at Bonnifield Log House

Oct 26, 2012
PHOTO SUBMITTED Avi Pogel, who grew up in Fairfield, demonstrates the art of flint knapping. His demonstration will be included in a three-part Iowa history program set Nov. 3 at Bonnifield Log House in Old Settleers Park.

Three free history programs, including “Iowa History in a Cloth Bag” sponsored by the Humanities Iowa, will be presented Nov. 3 at the Bonnifield Log House in Old Settlers Park, adjacent to Waterworks Park.

The first program, “Iowa History in a Cloth Bag,” with Michael Zahs, will begin at 10 a.m.

Jefferson County Naturalist Therese Cummiskey said Zahs, a national social studies teacher award winner, is steeped in historic Iowa.

According to Cummiskey, Zahs grew up on a century farm near Haskins as part of a nine-generation Iowa family.

“Last fall, Zahs held our attention with stories of ‘Life in a Log Cabin,’” Cummiskey said. “This year, he will explain how cloth bags and the revolutionary idea of marketing to women helped Iowans survive the Great Depression and the shortages of World War II. Flour sacks, feed sacks and seed sacks will tell the story from relief work by Herbert Hoover to clothes and quilts in the 1950s.”

Jefferson County Conservation received funding from Humanities Iowa, a private nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to host Zahs’s program.

The second program will be a Dutch oven cooking demonstration at 11:30 a.m., with Cummiskey and Gay Chapman.

Those who attend will learn the basics and taste test a few dishes, said Cummiskey.

“You’ll also learn about the unique way that early settlers measured while baking biscuits,” she added.

Participants who would like to have an opportunity to be more hands-on can sign up for a workshop planned this winter.

The third program will be flint knapping with Avi Pogel.

Pogel, who grew up in Fairfield and has a degree in anthropology from Grinnell College, will be demonstrating the ancient art of making arrowheads and other stone tools. He will discuss the materials and tools needed and the techniques used in making a projectile point.

Participants who would like to have an opportunity to make their own projectile point can sign up for future workshops.

The three programs are free and open to the public. Those attending are asked to bring lawn chairs, and those with a disability who require special assistance can call 472-4421 in advance.

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