Among the many Christmas festivities happening during the Neosho Dickens Faire on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Newton County Historical Society is offering one more.

Among the many Christmas festivities happening during the Neosho Dickens Faire on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Newton County Historical Society is offering one more.

A free Victorian Christmas ornament workshop will be held from 1-3 p.m. in the schoolhouse at the Newton County Historical Park and Museum, one block north of the Neosho Square at 121 N. Washington St.

All materials will be provided, but please register beforehand by calling the museum at 451-4940.

Refreshments will be provided afterward. The Neosho Christmas Parade kicks off at 5 p.m. and eventually rolls right in front of the museum on the last leg of the route, so why not stick around and enjoy it from there?

As to the ornaments themselves, my understanding is that they will be in the form of miniature “crazy quilts,” which became popular in the 1880s.

It’s free and it’s “Christmasy” so why not? I love Christmas!

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Before then, on Thursday, Nov. 29, the historical society is holding our annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. and combining it with an 2013 events planning session at 6:30 p.m., also at the schoolhouse.

If you’re a member of the historical society (it’s only $10 annually, so why not be?) please attend and voice your input. If you’re not already a member, why not just attend and join that night? There are a few events I wanted to do when I was still museum director (I’ve been off for about a year and a half now, though I’m still on the board of directors) that I would still like to see happen, even if I’m no longer the person organizing them.

 I’m sure you have some fresh ideas for events as well, so please attend on Nov. 29.

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I was pleasantly surprised at the number of folks who said they liked my column a couple of weeks ago about the clock in Big Spring Park. That clock is certainly worth saving and many people seem to agree!

I was not so pleasantly surprised to hear second hand that I am supposedly the only person interested in saving the long flight of concrete steps in Big Spring Park. That is certainly not true. I have personally heard, and read, several people express their support for preserving those steps, which have been a part of Big Spring Park since 1923 (a flight of wooden stairs existed in the same spot since at least the early 1880s, according to photos, and even before then, according to newspaper accounts).

The reason I haven’t written about it (other than reporting on it once when it was discussed during a city council meeting) is I have been somewhat involved in trying to save them. I know there has been some financial support committed by one local group, and some labor donated by an individual. Hopefully, we’ll see some materials donated as well. The city council is on board for preserving those steps, provided some individuals and groups are ready to step up and share some of the cost of repairing them. The city administration has held off on recommending any definite action until it is determined if the people of Neosho are interested in saving this piece of local culture and history or not. I believe they are. Look for further updates on this. I’ll just go ahead and say it, that the historical society board of directors has committed its support in joining with other groups in holding a fundraiser or two, or three, in Big Spring Park this spring to raise money to repair those steps. I think it will happen. I think people care enough. I hope so anyway.

Wes Franklin serves on the Newton County Historical Society Board of Directors. He is also a staff writer for the Neosho Daily News. He can be reached at 658-8443.