Visitors to the 45th annual Algonquin Mill Festival Oct. 9, 10 and 11 can celebrate the traditional lifestyle of a vanishing way of life. The Mill Complex has been a hub of activity as volunteers arrange supplies, decorate displays, quilt, mow and weedeat the grounds in preparation for the event.
The Algonquin Mill Festival is “good, quality family fun” according to Dave McMahon, president of Carroll County Historical Society (CCHS). “We are the festival that does things differently, making as many items as possible in-house and homemade.”
Visitors can purchase sauerkraut soup or take home mill sauerkraut by the quart or pint. Homemade bread and a variety of other foods can be found throughout the festival grounds. The festival, sponsored by the CCHS, has something to interest every member of the family.
Located four miles south of Carrollton on SR 332, the festival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission to the festival is free with an $8 per vehicle parking fee. For four decades prior to the first festival, the Mill sat quiet and empty as ivy slowly tried to consume it.
In the late 1960s, the local Carroll County Historical Society purchased the Mill with the intent of saving it from being lost forever. The group proceeded to replace the boiler, machinery, siding and anything else needed to refurbish the historic mill. As a means to display their hard work to the public and help pay for debt incurred in the process, it was decided to hold an annual festival.
With each passing year the festival, along with the number of displays, has grown into the 75-acre Mill complex of today. Surrounded by hills covered with fall foliage, the pioneer village features a steam-powered flour mill, a steam-powered sawmill and shingle splitter, one-room school house, railroad station featuring HO model layouts, several restored log homes and cabins. Hand woven rugs, quilts and buckwheat pillows handmade by Mill volunteers will be available for sale.
The Country Store, located in the lower level of the white barn, is full of items including an old-fashioned candy counter, homemade jams and jellies including quince, blackberry, elderberry and other flavors, apple butter made at the Mill, and much more. Visitors will find a large variety of baskets, including Americana, cracker and Christmas themed, recipe books, t-shirts and other crafts. A wide variety of crafters will be located throughout the grounds.
Many will be demonstrating their trades, including a broom maker, dulcimer maker, wood and chain saw carvers, rope maker, candle dipper, herbalist and blacksmith. Homemade sauerkraut will be available for purchase as will apple butter, fresh made breads, cookies and more. Freshly ground (on granite buhrs) corn meal, whole wheat, and buckwheat can be purchased at the Mill. These flours, along with apple butter, are available for purchase year round.
The pancake breakfast begins at 7 a.m. each day and the chicken barbeque will be Saturday and Sunday. Children can enjoy pony and train rides, alpacas, face painting and sand art. The antique power show featuring many old time engines and tractors, an antique car show and an art/photo show will be open daily.
The entertainment schedule is as follows:
Friday, Oct. 9 – Area high school bands and choirs, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Carrollton High School Showstoppers at noon.
Saturday, Oct. 10 – 11 a.m. Dulci-More; 12 p.m.- Kick and Click Cloggers; 1 p.m. Rawson Family Band; 2 p.m. Cabin Boys Plus; and 4 p.m. Cedar Valley Cloggers. Special entertainment on the stage by the old bridge over the creek, located below the Bread House is: 12-5 p.m. Loss of Memory Part 1 with special guest Josh Davis (break from 2-3 p.m.).
Sunday, Oct. 11 – A church service will begin at 8 a.m. in the schoolhouse. Musical entertainment includes: 11 a.m. True North and Friends; 12 p.m. Summit Up Cloggers; 1 p.m. Thom Ebersole Sing Along; 2 p.m. Marlyn Warner singing the Algonquin Mill song; 2:10 p.m. The Old Timers; 3 p.m. John Dendak; and Gary Parker at 4 p.m. Special entertainment on the stage by the old bridge over the creek, located below the Bread House is: 12-5 p.m. Loss of Memory Part 2 with special guest Josh Davis (break from 2-3 p.m.) The McCook House Civil War Museum, located on the square in Carrollton, will be open during festival hours, donations accepted.
No pets are allowed on the grounds at any time. Primitive camping is available at $15 per night.
For more information, contact the Carroll County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 877-727-0103 or visit www.carrollcounty ohio.com.