The Fair

The Fair

I’m so proud to share this from THEKITCHENSGARDEN… Cecilia captures in photographs and words what makes our ‘small town’ so special… Barbara


Every year our little local town, a small town with a big heart, hosts a local fair. show-032

The Fair has been going on for more than 160 years now.  The side shows are deliciously gaudy and the food is inedible on the street,  but that is what it is all about and there is a whole hall filled with pickles and cakes and breads and vegetables for the judging ( I hope to visit them tomorrow) , but there is a charm and deep local presence that makes this a very special day.  show-015The people who show their animals with such pride are also nodding with gratitude to a fecund  past filled with glory and vigor.  There is an iron clad connection straight back through almost 200 years of the very same event.  This is where small town America will not give up.  It has taken a beating but refuses to lie down…

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A Cullom Tradition


Some more Cullom history…



The headline of an 'Extra' Edition of the Cullom Paper June 3, 1933

The headline of an ‘Extra’ Edition of the Cullom Paper June 3, 1933

The following paragraphs are a condensation of material from that edition. Taken from the Cullom Centennial A Century of Memories, published in 1982.

Cullom experienced the wildest morning in its history on Saturday about 9:30 AM, June 3, 1933 when armed men estimated to be between five and ten in number, invaded the town and robbed The First National Bank and the Farmers State Bank of $6,000.

They entered the Farmers State Bank, held a gun to Howard Raboin’s ribs and demanded money, which he promptly gave them.  Cashier John Raboin and customers Agga Haren <my great-grandfather>, Frank Baker, Harm Frieden and Fred Harms were made to lie on the floor.  Young Harold Raboin was also in the bank at the time but no one was hurt there.

At the First National Bank they ran into a little more difficulty as the bank guards were present so they took William Kiley, cashier, and Wesley Shearer, assistant cashier, as hostages to protect themselves from bullets from the guards and other citizens that appeared on the scene.

In the bank at the time of the holdup besides the cashier were Dale Wise and John L Shearer, president of the bank  He said one of the gangsters had a revolver and another had an automatic.

Mr. Kiley and Mr Shearer were released from the car one and a half miles west of town and were picked up by Charles Berberick who returned them to Cullom in a short while.

A new Chevrolet car owned by Professor O.H. Roll, was taken by the bandits for their get-away.  They broke out the rear window of the car and shoved a machine gun through it to protect themselves.  Mr. Roll met the men in the car parked at the village hall but thought they were someone wanting to rent the hall.  The other car was parked near the Cullom Co-op Grain Office.

The gangsters also shot bullets around the main part of the business district hitting Frank Kopp in the leg and Doris Coash in the head. One bullet went through the window of the dental office and another went through a window in the flat occupied by the Earnest Hack family, missing Mrs. Hack by about a foot.  Another bullet crashed through the post office.  Veteran service man and postmaster Fred Flessner shot at them and thought he might have wounded one.  They were also said to have shot at Mrs. Charles Woodswest of the business district as they were leaving town.

An elderly man with poor eyesight sat complacently on a bench and was not bothered.  He remarked, “They are shooting firecrackers off early this year.”

The posse was called from Saunemin, they drove at breakneck speed (75 mph) to go after the desperados.


Cullom Chronicle June 3, 1933

 You have to love the colorful reporting!




Smoke Filled Balloons in Cullom



One of the First Balloon Ascensions in Cullom

One of the First Balloon Ascensions in Cullom

Although it is not known exactly when Cullom had the first balloon ascension, there is a newspaper account from 1898 of one taking place that August and reporting it as a success.

Some even assume that Cullom holds the distinction of having kept the tradition of a balloon ascension during the annual August Celebration longer than any other town in the United States.

It took hours to fill the smoke filled balloons

Spectators would watch for hours as a kerosene fire was lit that produced the smoke and hot air which inflated the balloon,

Spectators would watch as a kerosene fire was lit that produced the smoke and hot air which inflated the balloon


According to the Cullom Centennial Book ~ A Century of Memories, this photo was taken in 1963


I love all the cars lines up along Maple Street,

What great cars lined up along Maple Street in 1948

I remember as a kid you would spend the afternoon watching the preparations for the balloon launch.

I remember spending the afternoon watching the preparations for the balloon launch


Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!

One of the best known balloonists that came to Cullom was Claude Shafer.  He would jump from the balloon with a parachute.  Professor Shafer made the annual trek to Cullom until the 1960’s when Peter Krieg took over the annual tradition.

These photos were used in the 1982 Centennial Pageant.  I’ve got more, I’ll post them later…



Attract birds to your garden

A bird bath will complete your garden

A bird bath will complete your garden

I have a customer whenever he visits always mentions how he loves to hear the birds sing.  It’s a genuine pleasure for him.  Being in the country, we sometimes forget how ‘city folks’ don’t have the same opportunity we take for granted… like listening to the birds.


Birds use water to clean their feathers

Bird baths provide fresh water the birds need daily

Bird baths provide fresh water the birds need daily

Bird baths can be more than a focal point in your garden; they will also help you attract birds.   Birds will add a sense of peace and serenity to complete your landscape design.  Besides, they’re downright fun to watch as they splash around!

Birds need to drink water and depend on a supply of fresh water daily.  They also use water to clean their feathers, so, they are really taking a bath.

Located near shade is best

Located near shade is best

A bird bath should be located in the shade; it will help prevent algae growth.  Although, you also need to change the water regularly, that will help too.  I hose mine out each time I fill it.  If the ‘crud’ gets too bad, use a mixture of one part bleach to 10 parts water and scrub inside the bowl.  Rinse well.  I’ve also heard you can use hydrogen peroxide, but have never tried it myself.

I’ve also had customers tell me if you add a few pre 1983 copper pennies, they will help control the algae.  Copper is a natural algaecide; might be worth a try.

Birds add a sense of peace to your garden

Birds add a sense of peace to your garden

Sometimes, the simple pleasures in life are overlooked.  Maybe we should appreciate the little things, like the chorus of birds singing in your yard.

HAHN INDUSTRIES has a large selection of concrete bird baths in stock, check our Facebook page or website:




Later…  Barbara

Hanging in there…


No falling ~ Climbing

Sometimes it all depends on how you look at it… Is she climbing… is she falling… or, is she merely hanging on?

Did she start at the bottom and pulled herself to where she has almost reached the top?  On the other hand, maybe she was on top, took a chance peering over the side, slipped, and fell?  There are cobwebs on the branches therefore not too many people have passed this way before her.  It also looks as though the scavengers are circling to pick over the pieces if she fails.

I am not sure where I came across this picture, so I can’t give the proper credit. Nevertheless, I’m captivated by the intriguing paradox from the first time I saw it.  

Most times this is how I see my life… not sure if I’m struggling up or down… maybe it’s nothing but a quirk of fate that makes the difference.  However, it points out as we begin this busy season with all the holiday preparations and stress…  no matter which direction we’re headed…

It takes strength to hang in there…

kinda like most things we encounter in life, it all depends on how you look at it! 


Later… Barbara