“COME BACK ON SATURDAY,” Monte Topp advised. “There’ll be 25,000 people here.”
“No, thanks,” I said.
And that is how I learned about the May 21 – 24 Tree Town Music Festival in Forest City, Iowa, with Saturday headliner Blake Shelton. Yes, the Blake Shelton, whom even I, not a fan of country western music, know as a judge from The Voice.
But Monte wasn’t talking much music when I met him at Heritage Park of North Iowa last Saturday morning. He was focused instead on the weekend Steam School which drew folks from around the country to learn the ins and outs of operating steam engines.
Yet, he found time to take my husband and me inside two expansive buildings to view massive steam engine and vintage tractors. This member of the Heritage Park board knows his stuff. Names and dates. A quarter of a million dollars to purchase that steam engine tractor and another $250,000 invested in its restoration. One-of-a-kind. Only one left. If you want to know anything about anything steam engine, ask Monte.
We threaded our way around hulks of machinery in spaces so dark I could only take a few photos. Heavy scent of oil overwhelmed as did thoughts of yesteryear at this 91-acre site dedicated to preserving America’s rural history.
Buildings—ranging from a church to log cabins to barn, barbershop, jail, school, farmstead house and much more—create this impressive park. As luck would have it, we were not there when the park was open to the public and had to settle for an exterior walk-around.
“Come back this afternoon,” Monte advised as his phone rang.
We couldn’t. But that doesn’t mean we won’t return another time.
FYI: Click here to read my first post from Heritage Park. And check back for one more photo story, this one from downtown Forest City.
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling