History on hold - this year's History Alley has been cancelled

Lee Ann Murphy
Community Editor
In this Neosho Daily News file photo, pickers are shown providing music at a previous History Alley event.

For the first time in almost twenty years, there will not be a History Alley at the same time as the annual Neosho Fall Festival. The two events, both held on the first weekend of October, will not be paired this year. Although the Neosho Fall Festival will be held on Saturday, October 3, History Alley, has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. History Alley is normally held on the grounds of the Newton County Historical Museum, located a block off the Neosho Square on North Washington Street.

Newton County Historical Park includes the museum, housed in the 1887 former Newton County Sheriff's home and jail, an authentic log cabin, a former rural schoolhouse and a covered pavilion. Planning for the History Alley began in March and originally it seemed that it would be a record setting year with high participation from area and regional artisans. By July, however, about half of those who had planned to be participants had withdrawn. Concerns that the Newton County Historical Society would not be able to effectively sanitize the buildings (museum, rural school, log cabin), the stations, or the facilities also factored into the decision to cancel.

In a communication sent out to participants, the Historical Society included this message, "It is with heavy hearts that we will not be holding this event for the first time in 19 years. All thoughts, planning and other features will now transition toward History Alley 2021."

Normally, History Alley History Alley offers historically accurate presentations of various crafts, tasks and music, all recreating the Ozarks pioneer past. Previous demonstrations that have included butter churning, blacksmithing, dutch oven cooking, corn grinding, basket weaving, wood carving, candle making, weaving and spinning and banjo making.

The Neosho Future Farmers of America (FFA) usually have a "Day On The Farm" petting zoo.

1840's era Mountain Men camps, Civil War enactors, black powder weapons, chuck wagons, and Native American culture have also been a vital part of past events. Free wagon rides were also offered.

Visitors can also experience Native American culture.

The annual Historical Society dinner usually held in November has also been cancelled this year.