What a great day for some Ice Cream! For those of you who didn’t attend, the 2014 Ice Cream Social was on Sunday, July 27th. The event was a rousing success, and I would like to take a few moments to share with you my impressions of the event. There were events happening on three sides of the McConnell Mansion and even more fun inside.
The flag was raised at 1:00pm sharp by Gary Grove and his grandson Bryson while local musician Arden Skoglund performed “The Star Spangled Banner” and the Hog Heaven Muzzleloaders sounded a black powder salute. After the national anthem the Muzzleloaders setup on the west side of Adams Street to inform people about their historical displays, providing a living history experience at the event. In front of the Centennial Annex, Steve Talbott was splitting shakes out of ceadar. The shakes were being traded for donations to LCHS, 1 for $1 or 4 for $5. What a deal!
On the front lawn of the McConnell Mansion were the children’s events. Many children enjoyed washing the laundry with wash tubs and ringers, while some of the other children played dress up. Kids had fun making and designing par fleches, Native American style bags. Other children made re-usable bags out of old T-Shirts and a little ingenuity, courtesy of the Latah County Sanitation and Recycling Department.
The Moscow Weavers were situated on the front porch showing off their weaving skills to the public. Moving into the McConnell Mansion, guests were greeted by volunteers and staff of the Latah County Historical Society who shared with them the history of the home. Inside of the Mansion was a busy place indeed. The Appolosa Lace Guild was in the front parlor demonstrating lace making. In the family parlor there were two exhibits, one was a veteran’s exhibit created by former LCHS Executive Director and longtime supporter, Mary Reed.
The veteran’s exhibit examined some of the veterans of Latah County from the Grand Army of the Republic up until Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008. The other exhibit was a flag exhibit created by current LCHS Executive Director, Dulce Kersting. This exhibit was highlighted by a hand made flag presented to a Latah County veteran of WWII who helped to liberate parts of Austria at the end of Nazi occupation. The dining room, hallway and servants quarters were also available to tour on the lower level.
On the upper floor there was an art exhibit by local artist Kristin Carlson Becker located in the children’s room. This exhibit was created for ArtWalk and will be available until September 4th, 2014 when the exhibit closes with a presentation by Kristin Carlson Becker on her work. This event is free and open to the public and we look forward to seeing you all there. The second major exhibit available for viewing was the Caddie Woodlawn exhibit located in the green room. The Caddie Woodlawn exhibit showcased the impact of Caddie Woodlawn and the success of Carol Ryrie Brink.
This exhibit contains documents, photographs, video and objects regarding Caddie Woodlawn and was created specifically to open for the Ice Cream Social by yours truly, Museum Curator, Zachary Wnek. Throughout the house many historic quilts were also on display. These quilts were created by Latah County quilters. LCHS has many quilts in their collection and works to alternate the quilts on display.
Along the side of the house was the band, Undiscovered Country, entertaining the guests all afternoon long with great music. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the University of Idaho for the use of their sound equipment.
Also along Second Street was a fire engine and an ambulance courtesy of the Moscow Volunteer Fire Department. The MVFD had their equipment out and ready to show the public as well as their Dalmation. There was also a brief history of the MVFD available with historic images and text. Thank you to the MVFD for their time on Sunday.
At the corner of Van Buren St. and First Street, the northeast edge of the original McConnell lot, guests could enjoy wagon rides up to East City Park, pulled by draft mules. We would like to thank Anna Boyd for sharing her team with us on Sunday afternoon.
In the rear of the house was the main event, ice cream with toppings and watermelon. The ice cream this year was generously sponsored by the Dewitt, Johnson and Lindsey families in memory of their mother Connie Dewitt. The ice cream was served with your choice of pineapple, strawberries and chocolate syrup. To augment the ice cream was a serving of watermelon. There were 660 bowls of ice cream served up this year.
This annual event was also generously supported by the Latah County Community Foundation. We thank the Foundation for their commitment to improving the lives of local residents by funding a wide variety of projects, including our community-building Ice Cream Social. You can find out more about this terrific group, as well as how to donate to their efforts, at http://www.latahfoundation.org.
I would like to take a moment to thank everyone involved in making the 2014 ice cream social a great success. I am sure that I did not mention everybody who helped make this great event possible. With the 2014 Ice Cream Social behind us, we at LCHS are looking forward to next year already!
– Zachary Wnek Museum Curator Latah County Historical Society