Family Time: Get in touch wth history at 'Days of Yesteryear'

Learn more about way back when at the Mechanical History Roundtable's Days of Yesteryear. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, this annual family favorite shows families how things used to be right here in Rochester.

"It's important for kids who are coming up now to understand how life was before," said Marlys Ohnstad, MHR member. "They might have grandparents or great grandparents who had no electricity, no running water in their home. It's good to see how people got things done back then."

Kids will see how lumber was sawed to build homes, cedar shingles split and horseshoes forged. All of these former need-to-know life skills will be demonstrated by modern-day volunteers who still practice these crafts.

"There's a tinsmith who'll be making cups and plates, the sawmill where you can see logs getting cut, and if you go inside the history center, you'll find people spinning wool to make yarn," said Ohnstad, who has been volunteering with the DOY for more than 15 years.

"There's a display of things they've made with the different types of yarn, even yarn they've made from dog fur," she said. "Not only do you get to watch how things are done, but as the volunteers make the yarn, the cups, the boards, they'll explain how it's done."


Family members of all ages also can try their hand at churning butter, washing clothes, grinding corn, making rope and digging potatoes.

"The kids really enjoy all the hands-on activities," Ohnstad said. "The whole event is really a lot of fun for families."

Buttons are $5 in advance (available at the History Center) or $7 at the gate. Kids 15 and younger are free. Buttons are good for both days. Admission to the History Center museum is included in the price of the button. Concessions are available for purchase. Click on the MHR's website for a Days of Yesteryear schedule of events and activities. Park for free on site using the 34th Avenue entrance.

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