Leander Reeve Homestead: Making History

The weekend of October 22 will mark the first annual hands-on-history fundraiser sponsored by the Leander Reeve Homestead Committee of the Franklin County Historical Society. The event, Making History, will allow attendees to try their hand “making history” when they participate in various activities and handicrafts that were routine parts of life in rural Iowa in the mid-1800s.

Committee members, local farmers, and other volunteers will host two days of fun and informative activities in a family-friendly setting. So bring your blanket and picnic basket, or purchase food on-site. All money raised will support the work of the Leander Reeve Homestead Committee, formerly known as the Old Stone House Com­mittee.

Activities take place at the Leander Reeve Homestead, Vince Tiso farm, and the Jeff Burkley farm. Both farms are adjacent to the Reeve Homestead. Off road parking will be available, and we anticipate providing transportation between the locations.

The Homestead will be open for tours both days. Guided tours will be offered at nine, noon, and three on Sat­urday. The guided tours will include the off-site locations of the Maysville schoolhouse, and the REA Plant and Museum. Tours will begin at the Homestead at the specified times.

What follows is a tentative schedule, which will change as plans are finalized. Follow our progress as we plan this event via the society website, historyinfranklincounty.org; or “Like” the Leander Reeve Homestead on Facebook (www.facebook.com/StoneHouseGeneva) which allows you to subscribe to SMS updates as they are posted. Pick up the final schedule the day of the event, print it from your computer, or get our smartphone app (available soon).

If you or someone you know is interested in demonstrating a craft or historical activity, please contact one of our “vendor wranglers” as soon as possible:

Vince Tiso, 641-373-4871, ecovince@aol.com

Greg Keller gkeller@sukup.com

Keri Rojas, 319-491-6260, keri@ourfocusisyou.com

Melanie Mayberry, mayberrymsmel@aol.com

Preliminary Schedule

Friday Night October 21

Demonstrators arrive and set-up. Primitive camping available on the grounds.

6 pm Pre-event gathering and meal for demonstrators, vendors, and volunteers.

Saturday October 22

8 am Event opens

9 am Tours of Stone House, Maysville and REA Plant

12 pm Tours of Stone House, Maysville and REA Plant

12 pm to 6pm Stone Soup or other food available on grounds

11 am Blacksmithing Demonstration

3 pm Tours of Stone House, Maysville and REA Plant

7 pm Kids Leather Craft (hands-on)

7 pm Bonfire lighting and S’mores

8 pm Story telling by Denny Carlson

9 pm Square Dancing (quick lesson provided)

Sunday October 23

930 am Event opens

10 am Worship Service

12 pm to close lunch for sale on grounds (menu to be determined, but expect pie & ice cream, too)

1pm Blacksmithing

2 pm Kids Potholder Weaving (hands-on)

3 pm Kids Games

Other Activities:

Other activities and demonstrations are still being finalized. We anticipate that many of the demonstrators will have their items available for sale:

glass sculpture,

horse drawn plows



photo booth


soap making

wood turning

knife making

butter making

drumming circle

chairside massage

beaded jewelry making

torch work glass

rug hooking

wine making

nature craft

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History Begins Here

The Museum is open from January 15 through November 15: Monday - Friday, 1 to 4. 

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum is also open Sunday 1 to 4.

We will happily open at other times by appointment. Send an e-mail any time, call during regular museum hours, or during off hours, call Franklin County Tourism at 1 641 456 5668.

Franklin County Historical Museum is located at:

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