Free family activities from the olden days highlight Fridays at the Fort all summer

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All kids and families are sure to enjoy free programs at the Fort Crawford Museum this summer. Every Friday, at 1:30 p.m., beginning June 14, the museum will host a fun presentation and activity that will take participants back to days of long ago. (Note, there will not be a program the week of Fourth of July.)

Each presenter will be in costume for a short talk and while leading the day's hands-on activity. The hope is that every child will go home with something.

The Fridays at the Fort schedule is as follows:

June 14—Living on the Frontier 

In the early 19th century, residents of the upper Mississippi River valley had to be self sufficient. Learn skills needed by settlers and U.S. soldiers, like starting a fire, hunting with a flintlock musket, assembling a portable bed and making a cornhusk doll. Led by Captain Bouzek and Madame Friday

June 21—Open Fire Cooking

All who lived at Prairie du Chien, in the early 1800s, farmed and raised the food they needed. During the summer, most meals were prepared outdoors over an open fire. Participate in preparing and cooking a meal to include a stew and dessert. Led by Madame Russell and Madame Cooley

June 28—Plants Your Great-Great-Grandmother May Have Used

Many plants that grow in the wild were a source of tasty and nutritious food and were harvested by our ancestors. Learn about everyday culinary plants, sample dandelion cookies and more. Take home a plant. Madame Teynor and Madame Noel

July 12—A Time-Line of Cannon

Members of the 3rd Iowa Light Field Artillery will explain the difference between the cannon on display, discuss changes that occurred in the design of cannon, and demonstrate cannon firing throughout the afternoon. Weather cooperating, at dusk, there will be a display of night firing. 

July 19—Lighting a Home on the Frontier

Until the development of kerosene, people used candles to provide light in their homes, shops and barns. Watch and work at the process of making dipped candles with beeswax melted over an open fire. Take a candle home. Led by Madame Huck

July 26—Ornament for Your Christmas Tree

Throughout the 19th Century, Christmas was a day celebrated with family and a meal. Part of the celebration was making an ornament to hang on the tree. Make and take home a wool felt Christmas tree. Led by Madame Antoine

Aug. 2—Tin-Type Photography

The Civil War demonstrated how the new technology of photography could record events and likenesses. Learn the art of tin-type photography from a traveling photographer and experience having a picture taken. Led by David Rambow

Aug. 9—Fur Bearing Animals of the Fur Trade

The Native Americans traded pelts with the French and British for a wide assortment of manufactured goods. Learn about the fur bearing animals that once roamed the upper Mississippi valley, feel the softness of the pelts, and make a small belt pouch from leather. Led by Madame Harkrader

Aug. 16—Tea with Mrs. Taylor

Mrs. Taylor lived at Fort Crawford with her husband Colonel Zachary and their children. As the commandant’s wife, Mrs. Taylor often invited officers’ wives to afternoon tea. Come to afternoon tea with Mrs. Taylor and enjoy period treats and a small gift. Led by Mrs. Margaret Taylor and servants

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