File photo Town of Florida resident Mark Rulison cranks a wheel while making apple cider during the Last Saturday Fall Festival on Saturday, October 15, at Old Fort Johnson.


Recorder News Staff

FORT JOHNSON — Those looking to get out of the house this weekend can eat pie out of an 18th century wood fired oven, help grind apples for cider or enjoy the gardens at the Old Fort Johnson Harvest Festival.

The free event will be held Saturday from 10 to 4 p.m. at the historical site located at the intersection of routes 5 and 67. It will be the last day the museum will be open for the season.

“We always like to celebrate the season and have something where people who aren’t’ familiar with the site get a chance to come and look,” Rachel Bliven, the museum’s director at the Montgomery County Historical Society, said. “It’s not quite as a detailed as a full tour that you would get on a normal event, but we always like to have something that people can come out and enjoy the beautiful weather.”

Bliven said master baker David Manthey will be baking bread, pies and all sorts of pastries in the wood fired oven in the garden.

“We always like to have the bake oven running, but that’s hard to do on a daily basis so we make sure we do it at least once a year at a festival,” she said.

Harvest festival attendees may also help grind apples to make cider with a cider press.

“We’ve actually got a lot of apples off of our heritage apple trees in the orchard around the house,” she said. “So this year, we will be making apple cider from our very own apples.”

Bliven said this will be the second year they are making apple cider.

“It’s fun to see the old fashion way of making cider and what use to be common on every farm, is not so common anymore,” she said. “You can just see how that apple gets crushed and the juice comes out and you taste that apple juice and it’s amazing.”

She said the 18th century gardens on site are still beautiful. The gardens have plants that were used for medicinal purposes and kitchen uses.

“Those are all labeled and you can enjoy that as well as just an activity,” she said.

There will be a blacksmith on site as well as hot dogs and hamburgers for sale. Bliven said the gift shop and the house will be open for visits.

“We will open at 10 and we will close at 4 and whatever the weather does we will be there,” she said