Oskaloosa.com

Local News

June 13, 2014

Aunt Matt's story

OSKALOOSA — Nelson Pioneer Farm hosted a reenactment Wednesday evening depicting a time before modern technology ruled and when the only things to do for entertainment were playing outside with friends, reading books, playing music without listening to it on the radio, and cooking meals by using wood-burning stoves.

The reenactment is a first-person account and tour of the Nelson family home through the eyes of a single character named Aunt Matt.

“This is my first time I have done a reenactment. My goal is in celebration of Museum Week, I wanted to do something different. I am trying to develop this persona of Aunt Matt, who was the second to youngest daughter. I choose her to tell the story because she had a strong personality and was well known in the area,” Nelson Pioneer Farm Curator Kelly Halbert said.

For the reenactments, Halbert said they try to have a monthly event, but stressed there are other opportunities to attend events.

“We are open daily to let people walk through the buildings and explore,” she said.

She added the reenactment is 45 minutes.

“The more that I do the reenactments, the more I get used to the personality,” she said.

The history of the farm dates back to 1844.

“There were three generations. Daniel and Margaret were first. After that, it went to the third son John, who built a house on the north acreage 150 acres,” she said.

The Herald was given a tour of the home where Daniel and Margaret lived and raised their family.

Originally, the red brick house was built in the 1800s without a front porch. But the porch was installed later as an add-on.

“The story behind the porch is during that time, there were salesmen that would go door-to-door selling pillars for the homes in the area. In order to get the pillars, the family had to build the porch, which was later added to the front of the house,” Halbert said.

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