Fair Grove Historical and Preservation Society

 

The Fair Grove Historical and Preservation Society was created several years ago, with the initial goal of preserving and restoring a grist mill located at the center of Fair Grove, Missouri. It is one of the premier attractions of its type in the region, and is a living museum depicting life at the turn of the 19th century, into the early part of the 20th century.

This mill was originally known as the Boegel & Hines mill, but after changing hands several times became known locally as Wommack Mill.

The mill itself is located next to a small stream which usually doesn't run. Instead of attempting to build a mill pond with a very small drainage area, the decision was made to make the mill steam powered.

It that era, a mill quickly became the central business for a community and that's what happened in Fair Grove. It attracted people from the surrounding area who needed to grind grain, and trade for goods used in their daily lives.

The Historical Society wanted to restore the mill building for posterity. In an effort to raise money, we decided to host an annual fair which became known as the Fair Grove Heritage Reunion.

The Heritage Reunion has been held every year for over forty years on the last full weekend in September, and on those two days tens of thousands of people attend every year. There are hundreds of craft booths that are limited to handmade or original crafts or antiques.

There are also musical groups, demonstrations, a parade and many other events, and it's all free. You'll pay for parking, and there's plenty of food to buy, but you can really attend for very little money if you want.

The Historical Society also has other events. There is a Christmas Tree lighting on the first Saturday evening in December, and an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social on the third Saturday in July.

Wommack Mill is an attraction that is frequently used by photographers looking for a primitive or pastoral background. Many weddings and reunions are held annually, and you can rent and reserve the grounds for your events by filling out an application here.

You're always welcome to attend any of these events and meet the friendly people of today's Fair Grove as we celebrate our history.

 

Current Prices for Historical Society Facilities

 

Grounds Rental
 Mill Grounds & Pavilion

$100.00/day

 Use of Kitchen

$35/day

 Mill Grounds Deposit

$75

 Heritage Reunion
Craft Booths (limit of three)   

$95/booth

Food Booths

$150/booth

Extra Parking

$10 ea.

Electric (limited supply)

$20

Last changed: 6/27/2022

Heritage Reunion Volunteers

We need volunteers year round, but at no time like the Heritage Reunion on the last full weekend in September. In 2022 this will be September 24-25, and we need many people to help before, during and after the Reunion. We don't expect anybody to do everything, but we ask that each of you do something if you possibly can.

Some setup work is dependent on the weather and times may change. Some tasks can't be changed and must take place on schedule.

To volunteer, please contact either

Mary Terry  cell# is 417-576-2283

mailto:

or David Myers  cell# is 417-833-7308

This schedule will change, and you should check back for updates. This schedule was last modified on 8/17/21.

 

Day Date Task/Shift Owner Time Hours Helpers
Thursday 9/22 Layout booths Deena & Leon 9:00 6+ 2-4
    Set information booth Dave 9:00 2 2
    Speakers (PA) Dave 9:00 2 2
Friday 9/23 Crafter Parking Deena & Debbie 11:00 6+ 10-12
    Setup HS tents Dave 4:00 2 2-3
    Place trash boxes Dave 7:00 1 2-4
    Set benches Dave 7:00 2 2-4
    Bleachers Dave 7:00 2 2-4
    Bleachers School Dave 7:00 2 2-4
Saturday 9/24 Tram Drivers Dave/Kevin 8:00 10 4-8
    Merchant tent Mary 8:00 10 3-6
    Information booth Mark 8:00 10 2-4
    Threshing Rick TBA 2-4 2-4
    Money in the Straw Rick TBA 2 2-4
    Corn shelling   11:00 6 2
    Milling grain Dan 10:00 7 2-3
    Booth Jurist Mary 8:00 3-4 4
    Parade Mary/Milton 8:00 2-3 2
Sunday 9/25 Tram Drivers Dave/Kevin 8:00 8 4-8
    Merchant tent Mary 8:00 8 3-6
    Booth Jurist Mary 8:00 2-3 4
    Threshing Rick TBA 2-4 2-4
    Money in the Straw Rick TBA 2 2-4
    Corn shelling   9:00 6 2-4
    Information booth Mark 8:00 8 2-4
    Milling grain Dan 10:00 5 2-4
    Remove HS tents Dave 4:00 1 2-4
    Remove trash boxes Dave 4:00 2 2-4
    Remove benches Lion's Club 6:00 1-2 2-4

 

 

Permanent Volunteer Positions

 

Miller’s Apprentices Wanted

We need one or two people who are willing to assume the job of miller, the person who actually operates and grinds grain in the mill. This job will include

  • Demonstrating how the mill works to the public and answering questions. This is a year round job, depending on events and your personal schedule
  • You will have the advantage of training under the guidance of Dan Manning
  • You should expect to do this job for several years as an important member of the Historical Society
  • The job is dusty. The mill is not air conditioned or heated
  • You must have some mechanical aptitude, some upper body strength and the willingness to learn 19th century technology
  • The mill requires three people to grind grain, so one or two millers plus assistants are needed this year and every year. Ideally we will have two permanent millers plus three assistants on call.

Threshing Boss

If you have direct knowledge of how a threshing machine works, even if you are no longer able to do the work physically, we need your help this year to train and instruct volunteers for future years.

 

Staying in Fair Grove

If you're a cyclist wishing to camp at the Mill grounds, please go to the Kum & Go convenience store at the intersection of Highways 65 and 125. They will have a current list of contacts to call to unlock the restrooms for your use.

Kum & Go is located about 1/2 mile west of the Mill grounds. Their phone number is (417)759-9293

Some of the amenities we offer are:

  • Free overnight camping next to historic Wommack Mill
  • Free hot showers
  • Free electricity to charge your phones
  • Restaurants close to the camping
  • Laundromat one mile west of the Mill
  • Grocery store, pharmacy and convenience stores
  • Friendly people who are used to seeing bikes in the area

 

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