LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- This weekend Missouri Town celebrates its 40th Annual Fall Festival, and thousands of folks took a step back in time, to celebrate autumn the way they would have 150 years ago.
It’s a tradition steeped in Missouri’s rich history, and in the 1850's this is the way Missourians brought in the harvest season.
"Most musicians are trained in the era. They play dulcimer, hammer dulcimer and guitars," said Jonathan Klusmeyer.
The potato peeling starts at dawn inside Carlene Hale’s 1860 cabin. And because guests are coming, the cooking over the fire and in the reflector oven continues all day.
Outside, volunteers harvest sorghum, an old-time sweetener, the old fashioned way.
"We take those stalks and feed them through the mill, squeezing the juice from the plants," said Linda Goin.
A lesson in labor intensive processing, and even Civil War history.
"So in the 1850's when people of the north didn't want to rely on the south for sweetener, they were looking for substitutes without doing business with the South,” said Goin.
Historic Sites Director Gordon Julich said, "It has served the public for more than 50 years bringing meaningful interpretation of how our ancestors lived in this area before heavy industrialization."
Guests wander through yesteryear, as they explore Missouri Town's 21 historic buildings. All the while surrounded by rich stories from studied characters; an experience in history that a textbook alone could never teach.
The festival continues through Sunday. Ten dollars will gain entry for as many people as you can fit into one vehicle.