Skyline, Visitor's Center and Parking Lot. 
Goose Lake Prairie Partners

Volunteers at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area
5010 N. Jugtown Road off Pine Bluff Road, Morris, IL 60450

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Tallgrass Journal

The 30th Annual Cabin Festival date is June 6th, 2015
We hope to see you there.

The 29th Annual Cabin Festival was held June 7, 2014
at the Cragg Cabin this year.

Below are the re-enactors who were our guests on the Cragg Cabin grounds. On this Saturday, the re-enactors visited with over 200 guests for 5 hours, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Festival adventure began in the Visitor's Center.

The food tent located next to the butterfly barn, sold buffalo burgers, hamburgers, brats or hot dogs. The gift shop was near the Cragg Cabin.  A Prairie plant sale was available and many of our visitors purchased tickets for the Prairie Partner
Floral Garden full size quilt.

Jenny Rohr, Violinist, presented a program she titled "Fiddlin' With The Violin: Fun Facts & Fiction." This fun educational program entertained and taught all ages the joys of good ol' hoedowns and more!

The Cragg Cabin docent Gayle Crompton was on hand to answer questions about cabin living and the former occupants of the Cragg Cabin.  She was spelled by Susie Johnson.

The Soap Maker, Judi Jacksohn stirred up a new batch of homemade soap.

"Ole Fashioned Quilting Bee" presented by the Log Cabin Quilters Guild was in the lobby of the Visitor's Center. Visitors were invited to add a stitch or two.

The Strolling Violinist, Brandon Slatton played many different fiddle songs as guests visited the crafters.  He showed kids and adults the violin and answered many questions.

American Indian Traveling Museum curator Louis Aiello had many hands-on exhibits and spent much time talking with our guests.

The Tanner Beverly Mansfield, with the aid of her samples, explained the process of "brain tanning."

The Spinner Kathy Tovey demonstrated wool combing and spinning. She was accompanied by her Jacob Spring Lamb.

Bobbin Lacer Donna Fousek was lacing on a beautiful butterfly and displayed samples.

The wagon circled the pond throughout the day carrying guest back and forth with Lon Lovellette as the Wagon Master.

Tatter Susie Johnson demonstrated the fine art of tatting with a shuttle and displayed samples.

Fundraiser Chair & Host Chuck Johnson was at the Visitor's Center Desk - The lovely Floral Garden full size quilt is still on display.

Knitter Jo Fleming demonstrated knitting and had samples on display.

The Cooper Arnie Bandstra worked on a bucket and talked to visitors as he did so, explaining the tools of the trade.

The Weaver Ginnie Stevens wove a rag rug of denim this day. Many visitors asked questions about the loom and the process. She was working on the park loom.

Children's Games 'N Toys - Becky Sipple & Brenda Soreng assisted many children and adults with games of the past, including Graces, Jacobs Ladder, Buzz Saw and Checkers. Liam Soreng and Joey Sipple appeared in period clothes.

Prairie Partner Gift shop was available on the Cabin lawn with shopkeeper Norma Hedges, and assistants Jan Lindstrand, and Char McDade.

Prairie Partner Food Shop was available in the back yard of the visitor's center with shopkeeper, Jackie Martin, assisted by Jan Alexander, Kristin Wiekert, Debbie Mahler, Audrey Kaluzny, and Audrey Kaluzny.

It was a beautiful day for a festival. Many visitors came, asked questions and played our games. Everyone stopped for a lunch in our food tent. We were pleased with the size of the attendance . Visitors enjoyed the festival as well as acquainted themselves with the many treasures hidden at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area.

We hope they come again, now that they have found us.

Chairmen for this event were Bev Mansfield, Tom Kaluzny and Susie Johnson. John Martin, Lois Brandt, Chuck Johnson and staff members - Joe, Jeff, Eric, Erik, Ed, & Gary - all assisted with set up and tear down.

          Tanner Mansfield adjusts her display  
Tanner Mansfield will be returned again next year as well as Lou Aiello and his Traveling American Indian Exhibit. 
Review 2014 Cabin Fest Album (Coming soon)

 Review the 2013 Cabin Festival
Photo Album

Cabin Festival
is sponsored by the Goose Lake Prairie Partners and
the GLPSNA Staff.

Re-enactment may include

American Indian Life & Culture
Campfire Cooking
Soap Making
Candle Making
Tanning, Farming
Plant Study
Old fashion Games
Wood working
Wood Carvers
Knitting, Crochet
Lace Making, Quilting
Weaving, Spinning
Basket Making
Clothes Discussions
Culture in 1830
Cabin Life & Area History
The Origin of the Cabin Festival at GLPSNA

In February of 1985, a new Prairie Partner asked about the Cabin and it's uses.  She was told that it was used once in the fall for a program called "Incredible Edibles," and a warming place for cross-country skiers in winter.  Vince Matthews, the interpreter at the time, asked what the person had in mind.

It was at that time that Cabin Festival began, patterned after the "Settlement" in Lockport, (run by the Will Co. Historical Society). The new member knew several of the crafters in Lockport and asked them to come to Goose Lake Park and bring their crafts, making and doing things that the pioneers would need to do to survive.

The cabin (knows as the Cragg Cabin) had only two benches, a table and a chair that was donated.  Pioneer Cabin Festival was bore.

The date chosen was September Prairie week and also combined "Incredible Edibles."  This was what we would call "weeds," but the pioneers found several things such as dandelion leaves and some roots to use in the spring.  They picked wild berries as the summer progressed and made jams and sauces.  The partners demonstrated the use of the "weeds" and served jams and jellies on crackers for the 'guests' to sample.

Eventually, because of weather and lack of crafters in the fall, the Pioneer Cabin Festival was moved to spring.  Crafters were not so overwhelmed with too many festivals at that time.

(Reference:  Jo Fleming, Morris, IL)

We are constantly looking for period
re-enactors to help us with this event

Crafts that pioneers would most likely do in the 1800s is our emphasis. 
If you would like more information about our festival please call 815-942-2899.

Updated June 9, 2014.