History in Action Day began in 1996 with the aim of drawing attention to Dawes County history and to the museum, but now is focused more on showing younger generations some party of everyday life from years past.
Activities this year will include making apple cider, horse-and-buggy haywagon rides, butter and honey making, corn and flour grinding, spinning yarn, making rope, and sewing with a treadle sewing machine.
On a cool, breezy afternoon I follow Escalante to a Tortilleria near his restaurant. The shop has a mill for grinding and a Corn grinding machine that resembles an old printing press, which stamps out tortillas in assembly-line fashion.
The tortilla maker pinches off a wad of masa and hands it to me. The masa is as yellow as buttery cookie dough. It has a smooth texture, though with a pronounced graininess, as if it contained finely ground nuts.
Among the draws: a textile tent with spinning, weaving, flax demonstration, sheep to shawl, tatting, treadle sewing machine, sock-knitting machine, quilting, quilt display and trunk show (a collection of quilts and explanation about their patterns); a hammer collection, Foulkrod Saw display and hands-on activity, miniature steam engines, goose yokes, miniature railroad, wooden signs, stage coach, lanterns, irons and period clothing.
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