The Nelson Pioneer Farm is opening its doors tonight for an Old Time Country Christmas.
The Mahaska County Historical Society will have a three-night event for the inaugural Old Time Country Christmas. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event runs until 9 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“It's an event for families,” Nelson Pioneer Farm Curator Kelly Halbert said.
People can enter and exit at Bradbury Hall. There will be refreshments available such as chili, hot chocolate, coffee and hot cider, Halbert said.
“We will also have some crafts going,” she added.
People presenting their crafts include the Van Kooten family, who will display some pottery; three local authors will be on hand to talk about their work; the Beane family will discuss their whittling and woodburning crafts on Thursday and Friday; Jim and Barb Johnson will pull taffy on Thursday and Friday; Gene Phillips will have some wooden toys; and Rich Edwards will have some clocks, Halbert said.
Halbert said the pioneer farm museum gift shop will have stocking stuffers and Milk House candles for sale too.
There also will be several children's activities at Bradbury Hall.
Children can decorate gingerbread cookies, write a letter to Santa and make wrapping paper, Halbert said.
There will be wagon rides held through out the three-night event.
“We will have tractor-pulled wagon rides Thursday and Saturday,” Halbert said. “On Friday, we will have mule-pulled wagon rides provided by Tom Ferguson. They are such good mules.”
There will be several activities featured at various buildings around the pioneer farm.
At the Nelson House, people will demonstrate how a family got ready for Christmas with stringing popcorn and making mincemeat.
The Coal Creek Meeting House will feature music. On Thursday at 6 , 7 and 8 p.m., the Christensens will have Christmas violins. On Friday at 6 and 7 p.m., the Alice Benne gospel group will perform. At 8 p.m., Sheryl Carter will play the dulcimer. On Saturday, the Union Liberty Choir will perform at 6 and 7 p.m. Also, Quintin Tschetter and his quartet will perform at 8 p.m.
At the school house, people can make Christmas recitations and compete in a spelling bee, among other activities.
At the Litler Cabin, people can make gingerbread cookies and learn how settlers made Christmas toys.
Milton Voss will make rope at the White Barn.
People can stop by the Mott General Store and see how things were ordered from the Sears Catalog and enjoy some fruit cake.
Craig Van Kooten will get a fire going at the Blacksmith Shop to make some Christmas items.
The Buxton House will feature caroling with the organ, bread baking and charity baskets.
Finally, you can use a quill and ink to make Christmas post cards at the post office.
“Dress warm — these are old buildings,” Halbert said. “Dress for inclement weather.”
Two local businesses contributed to the event. Musco sponsored the event and Clow Valve decorated the Coal Creek House, Halbert said.
A free-will donation will be taken so the historical society can hold another Old Fashioned Country Christmas next year, Halbert said.