By Matt Clevenger
PIQUA — Historical re-enactors from Wayne’s Legion will gather at the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency on Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30, camping at the farm and offering historic demonstrations during the site’s annual History Alive! event.
“The Johnston House will offer self-guided tours with costumed interpreters on all floors to answer questions, or guests can scan a QR code in each room if they prefer,” Johnston Farm and Indian agency volunteer coordinator Marla Fair said.
“Oxen will be worked throughout the day, she said. “There will also be various demonstrations of soap making, fiber work, open cooking, Civil War civilian life and more.”
The History Alive! Event will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30. Admission will be $10 for adults, $9 for seniors/AAA and $5 for children under 12. Children five and under are free.
Canal boat rides will be available throughout the weekend, and Cheryl Ross-Clark will offer a presentation on plants used to dye fabrics in the 1700s and 1800s at noon on both days, and Laura Supinger will also present “Out From the Hearth” at 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
“This program covers eighteenth-century life outside of the home; people’s occupations, community interaction, education, and so on,” Fair said.
Jon Hagee will also perform 18th-century ballads throughout the weekend.
“There will be 19th-century goodies and tea to sample in the winter kitchen,” Fair said. “The Native American, Frontier & Canal History Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Robert Bowman will have a display in the museum and do a continuing presentation about the life of Robinson Johnston, the son of John Johnston, and the United States Dragoon (calvary) unit he belonged to.”
Cannon demonstrations will also be presented at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“There will be a cannon demonstration by the Mad River Light Artillery on both days,” Fair said. “We do not know where they will be set up yet, but they will be hard to miss.”
Canal boat rides will be offered at 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on both days. More information can be found online at www.johnstonfarmohio.com, or through the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency’s Facebook page.
“Canal boat space is limited, so guests should proceed to the museum first to get a ticket if interested,” Fair said.
Guests are also encouraged to bring their own food and drinks to History Alive!, as food will not be available onsite during this year’s event.
“Visitors should bring food and drink with them,” Fair said. “Bottled water is available at the Johnston House, and there is a water fountain with a place to fill bottles at the museum.”
Located at 9845 N. Hardin Road, the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency is a 200-acre historical site focused on the life and home of John Johnston, who was a farmer and U.S. Indian Agent for Western Ohio from 1812 to 1829. The Johnston Farm has hosted the History Alive! event with members of Wayne’s Legion for the past three years, Fair said.
“Wayne’s Legion is the event organizer,” she said. “It is a group of re-enactors dedicated to educating the public on Ohio history and American history, and how closely the two are interwoven together.”