Jonathan Alder Day all about pioneer way

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Steve Ball plays music from the American Civil War era at last year’s Jonathan Alder Day. Ball, a Civil War historian, returns to the event this year to once again provide musical entertainment.
Steve Ball plays music from the American Civil War era at last year’s Jonathan Alder Day. Ball, a Civil War historian, returns to the event this year to once again provide musical entertainment.

(Posted Sept. 10, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

If you want to get a feel for how the pioneers lived, make your way to the Madison County Historical Society’s Jonathan Alder Day, set for noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 20 on the museum grounds in London. Admission is free.

The annual event is timed to coincide closely with the birthdate of Jonathan Alder, the first white settler in Madison County. Alder was born on Sept. 17, 1773, and died on Jan. 30, 1844.

Visitors can expect to see demonstrations of craft making, blacksmithing, rope making, butter making, loom work, basket making, chair caning, and the making of apple cider and apple butter.

“New this year, children can ‘mine for gems.’ We did it at our Pioneer Day Camp this summer and it was a big hit,” said Dorothy Richmond, museum director.

Throughout the day, Steve Ball, a Civil War historian and musician, will perform songs from the Civil War era. Members of the Darby Creek chapter of the Archaeological Society of Ohio will display Indian relics and items found through metal detecting. Robert Converse, a local expert in Indian relics, will autograph copies of his books.

All of the buildings on the Historical Society grounds will be open, including the museum, one-room school house, Elizabeth Kitchen log house, train station and caboose, blacksmith shop, barn and, of course, Jonathan Alder’s cabin.

“We have a trunk in the Alder cabin full of things the pioneers would have traded with the Indians, like beads, hides and soap,” Richmond said.

Food and ice cream will be available for purchase. Handmade brooms and baskets, books about Jonathan Alder, and other items will be for sale in the museum gift shop. Donations will be accepted for the maintenance and operation of the museum.

Additionally, the Historical Society will be selling fence pickets associated with the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, “Between Fences,” that made a stop at the museum in 2010. The pickets were painted and decorated by people of all ages in the community using a variety of themes. The pickets are $25 each.

The museum is located at 260 E. High St. in London. Parking is accessed off of East First Street. Call (740) 852-2977.

Also at the museum

In addition to Jonathan Alder Day, the Historical Society is hosting the following events:

  • Annual meeting—The Historical Society will meet at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 at Der Dutchman restaurant, 445 S. Jefferson Ave. in Plain City. Doors open at 5:30.
  • Christmas at the Museum—This free annual holiday event is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 29. The Music Men of London will perform. Refreshments will be served.

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