Pioneer Festival

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Outhouses, open fires and trading for your dinner. They were all part of daily Wisconsin life in the 1850's, and you can see for yourself this weekend at the Pioneer Festival near Nekoosa.

Several actors had exhibits set up at historic Point Basse, an old camp where what's believed to be the oldest house in central Wisconsin is still standing.

"We're respecting and acknowledging those persons of the past who did contribute to our early Wisconsin history, but we're doing it in a very convivial manner. We're having fun," said Stella Michals who portrayed an Irish settler.

Saturday, the fun included foods that would have been eaten at the site 150 years ago: live music and a trading post where kids could exchange pieces of fur for candy.

Hands-on history lessons for the kids is one of the reasons why re-enactor Dennis McLaughlin says he enjoys the festival every year.

"The best part is I enjoy when the school kids come out. We usually do a special basis for them," said Dennis McLaughlin who portrayed a married Irish soldier.

The Pioneer Festival will continue Sunday at the historic Point Basse from 10 to 4.