People visiting Heritage Park in Caldwell, Ohio on September 26th and September 27 will be taking a trip backwards in history. The annual Soakum Festival is held at Heritage Park on the Noble County Fairgrounds at the end of September.
Soakum was a small town that existed in Noble County, Ohio during the 1800’s according to the website www.noblecountyohio.com. WWW.noblecountyohio.com/SoakumFestival states that Soakum was oringially named Matrim, however due to entreprenaurs raising the prices of “corn liquor and applejack” Matrim became known as Soakum.
Today, the Soakum Festival gives both the young and the old a chance to see what life was like in the 1800’s. Exhibitors must dress in 1800 attire and must use equipment that was used in the 1800’s. This means horse drawn wagons carry visitors throughout the festival. Food vendors must use fire pits rather than stoves or microwaves on the grounds during this festival.
This year one exhibitor will be demonstrating preparing moose skin before it is turned into leather products. Other displays will be handmade quilts, jewelry displays and handmade tools that were used druing the 1800’s. The log cain, church and one room school that are located in Heritage Park will also be open for the Soakum Festival.
In the 1990’s, I served as secretary for the Soakum Festival committee. Preparing for the Soakum Festival is a year round activity. The current committee members work hard to make Soakum Festival an educational and fun event. It is worth visiting.
The Caldwell Journal September13, 2010