SIDNEY — Mary Dyer attended Montcalm Community College (MCC) in the 1970s and has some great memories of being a student of the Sidney school. Dyer, now of San Diego, remembers hearing talk then of the historical buildings that were going to be located near campus.
Dyer was one of the large crowd of guests who visited the Montcalm Heritage Village during the three-day Heritage Village Festival this weekend, celebrating the 28th year a small band of volunteers has faithfully put together the unique, hands-on celebration.
“This is very impressive. It is really neat,” said Dyer. “It has been a lot of work for someone.”
Mary and Edna Dyer were at the festival on Friday to watch the DC Cloggers perform at the gazebo, one of the several groups to add live music to the event.
“I’ve been once before when I came with a quilting group,” said Edna Dyer of McBride. “At that time, the depot was a new addition, and we were pretty proud of it as it came from McBride.”
The festival included re-enactments from the historic schoolhouse to the historic townhall meeting, to a Civil War Encampment to a new addition, American Mountain Men shooting muzzleloaders.
“We try to add something new every year,” said Judy White, a volunteer with the MCC Heritage Village Committee. “This year we had the Mountain Men demonstration, and also the festival games such as the watermelon toss, the cake walk and other activities for children.”
Children of all ages got to grind ears of corn with a corn grinder, wash laundry in a wringer washer, try on historical outfits at the Children’s Playhouse, pet chickens and goats and buy candy for a penny at the Sidney General Store.
“One of the neat things about this is that not only is it history, but it is local history,” said Amy Throop, of Stanton, who brought her friend Jamie Hopkins of Sheridan, along with Brooke Hopkins, 10; Emily Troop, 9; Landon Hopkins, 7; and Logan Troop, 6.
Saturday afternoon’s highlight was the Vintage Baseball games, taking place on the south lawn, and drawing a big crowd.
“We are pleased with the turn-out (of the entire festival) this year,” festival volunteer Ruth Hansen said. “The weather was good, and we have seen steady crowds, and people really seem to be enjoying themselves.”
Susan Maybunk, of Lakeview and her daughter Hali, 15, have been some of the regular folks who attend every year.
“We just like taking it all in,” Susan Maybunk said. “You think about what life must have been like in those days, how shopping in the general store is so different than shopping is today, how life, in general, is so different than it used to be. It’s a chance to appreciate what we have now, while remembering what things used to be.”
Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.