Algonquin Mill Fall Festival - Carrollton

60.) Algonquin Mill Fall Festival – Carrollton (Petersburg) – October 7, 2011

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Around 1800, George Tope moved to the village of Algonquin (now the village of Petersburg near Carrollton) and built the area’s first saw mill (1818), which later became the area’s first grist mill (1826).

He ran this mill until his death in 1845, when family members took over operations and eventually sold it twenty years later. In the years to follow, the mill changed hands a few more times until it was finally shut down in 1938.

Then, in 1969, the Carroll County Historical Society bought the mill complex and did their best to restore it to its original form.

Who knew, that only two years later…

…a new festival would blossom?

Now celebrating its 41st year this year, the Algonquin Mill Fall Festival has grown much bigger than what George Tope would have remembered, thanks to the acquisition of other buildings that were placed on the property.

(For a description and history of each of these buildings, you can click here.)
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Each of these buildings were placed around the property, creating a type of country village that festival goers were invited to check out.

This barn, for example…

…displayed old vehicles…

…and farm equipment (the other side had crafts).

Other such building museums included a schoolhouse…

…with a full classroom, informative teacher…

…and an old book collection…

…while an old log house…

…allowed period volunteers to share info as they worked needle and thread.

But the old structures weren’t only used as museums.

Many of them were used as shops where purchasable products  were made on-site.

The Cookie House, for example…

…sold a great variety of cookies…

…while the bread house…

…which had an oven in the back…

…sold freshly baked loaves…

…with even a sampler option for 50 cents a slice.

But one of the main attractions for me…

…was the actual mill…

…where there was a museum display…

…a flour-making demonstration…

… and plenty of flour products only a few feet away.

Apart from the buildings, there were plenty of ways that festival goers could get distracted on the grounds, including…

…various critters to check out…

…horse/wagon rides…

…entertainment…

…the hypnotic motions of the saw mill…

…antique tractors and mill equipment appreciation…

…and quite a bit of shopping.

The Algonquin Mill Fall Festival had two main sections where vendors were gathered and they sold everything from pumpkin rolls to handmade brooms.

Some of my favorites included…

…creative craft items…

…chainsaw carvings of childhood cartoon characters…

…surreal old-fashioned dolls…

…very surreal modern dolls…

…and other items I simply found intriguing.

This assortment of festival offerings also extended to food…

…whether through visiting food vendors…

…or through dishes made and sold in one of the various buildings on the grounds.

This way…

…festival goers could enjoy a nice-looking roasted pork loin dinner…

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…and savor it out in the picturesque autumnal countryside.

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