Harmony Historical Society Hosts Fall Harvest Festival

HARMONY – It may have grown in size throughout the years, but Harmony’s annual Fall Harvest Festival still retains its tradition.

Every year, the Harmony Historical Society welcomes hundreds of area residents to its headquarters at 1943 Open Meadows Road to experience the history it strives to preserve.

The Fall Harvest Festival serves as the historical society’s main source of income throughout the year, and has been a staple of the first weekend in October for more than two decades – running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and today. It features several vendors selling homemade craft and food items, and it has always been free and open to the public.

According to Linda Simmons, who co-chaired the festival with her husband David, the Harvest Festival has something for everybody.

“It’s a community-based day because we don’t charge admission or parking,” Simmons said. “We want the people to come and enjoy the buildings, as well as their friends and family that they haven’t seen for awhile. And there are donation jars around, so we do alright with that.”

The historical society sees to the maintenance of a complex of historical buildings, each of which served a different function during the town’s 200-year history. The buildings include: the Waite Building and Carpenter Hall; Matson House, an 1840s farmhouse; a one-room schoolhouse; a smokehouse; Butts Barn; and Nagel Weaving Shed.

During the festival, the buildings house several demonstrations of historical nature, including: weavers from local weaving guilds working on looms in the weaving shed, spinners showing how to use spinning wheels, woodcarvers demonstrating their crafts, instruction on how to hue a beam from a log, basketmaking, soapmaking, forgework, fireplace cooking and a quilt show.

Also taking place at the information tent was a Chinese auction. Live music was provided by Picks & Hammers, an Edinboro-based Americana band. The festival will continue today, again running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.