You would think intermittent rainfall would have put a damper on Old Iron Works Days activities this weekend, but that simply wasn’t the case.
Despite the wet weather, the 34th annual event at Maramec Spring Park continued on Sunday afternoon, with droves of people taking cover under tents and umbrellas until the rain stopped.
With the smell of funnel cakes in the air and the sound of era-appropriate music in the distance, the rain was no match for the spirit of Old Iron Works Days.
More than 40 craft vendors were on hand to display and demonstrate old-fashioned trades such as basket-weaving, blacksmithing, quilting, woodworking and rope-making.
Jeff and Betty Goris, of Licking, who bring their traditional tinware and rag-weaving displays to a number of regional events, look forward to Old Iron Works Days every year.
“It’s the beauty of Maramec Spring Park and also the dedication and hard work of The James Foundation that we enjoy so much,” Jeff Goris said. “They really put on a wonderful event, and it really shows. This is my favorite event as far as location.”
Scott Brown, of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, who was clad in his Union Army chaplain’s uniform, said this was his first visit to Old Iron Works Days, and he was impressed.
“We travel all over and do this same kind of thing,” he said. “On Saturday, we had all kinds of ‘period food’ like pickled bologna and pickled eggs, and people just chowed down. They loved it, and I gave the recipes to a number of people.”
Verlee Foust, who was visiting with family and friends, said she has been an avid trout fisher at the park for 45 years – “since opening day.”
Sandie Lenzini and her canine companion, who are also frequent visitors to the park, found a good trout-fishing spot and spent a lazy Sunday afternoon on the riverbank.
While it was unknown how many people attended the event, the estimate was more than 10,000.
“I think the appeal is that it gives people an insight into simpler times,” said Mark Benton, regional manager for The James Foundation. “I think there is a renewed interest in the craftwork that was done at the time.”