Life in the Old West
Many of the outside activities have to do with life styles of an earlier era in the United States.
An event seen at the DRC outdoors is an old fashioned 19th century, wagon-train campsite. When
we were there a wagon was sitting on the edge of a meadow with a family – dressed in 19th
century period garb – working around a campfire. The husband was splitting firewood while
the mother was cooking over the campfire. The two kids were playing nearby with 19th century
toys. There also are booths that sell all kinds of crafts, clothing, toys, and tools along with
many things from the 19th century and early 20th century. Of course I liked the food court.
One of the outside exhibits was a working blacksmith shop. The aroma of a blacksmith shop
is unique, so I tried to stay upwind. The blacksmith was busy demonstrating his craft while
making things to sell. Some items made are tools like an axe head or gate hinges. A person could
bring an old, worn out file to have it made into a hunting knife or a wood chisel.
Blacksmith makes useful objects out of iron
Music filled the air
As we strolled around the fairgrounds we could hear music change from one place to the next.
Stages were located far enough apart from each other keeping the music at one location from
interfering with the others. As we walked from place to place one type of music (i.e. Folk)
would fade while another (i.e. Cowboy) became louder. We sat for a while when we heard music
that we liked.
A musical family makes good music
The bands were made up of families, children, cowboys and old mountain men. If one likes
good old cowboy and mountain music, this is the place to be. As we walked around the grounds
we took time to sit and listen to good music. We especially liked the folk and blue-grass bands.
When one band took a break, another would be coming off of a break. As a result, we were able
to listen to music for as long as we wanted.
Old engines chugging away
It was fun looking over the very large group of old engines that were running.
The sounds are made up of some engines purring away while others produce a pop-pop-pop
sound. Many of the gasoline powered engines are water cooled with a method I found
to be unusual. The engines have a water tank on top that is filled with water.
As the engine heats up, the water boils and turns to steam, which maintains a
stable temperature as long as the water level is restored occasionally.
Many of the engines were running just to show that they
Many of the old engines were demonstrating how they can do useful work. One engine was pumping
water from a barrel and returning the fluid to the same barrel. Another engine was being used
to cool its owner by driving a big fan that blew air over a large area. However, most of the
hard working antiques were simply running just to show they could. That is how I feel at times;
I have to get up and move around just to show that I can.