Froelich Museum presents FALL-DER-ALL this September 29th and 30th. What’s FALL-DER-ALL? Well, it's a weekend to journey back in time. Experience demonstrations of threshing, antique engines, tractors, and more.
It seems that in 1892, the folks of Froelich where slightly amused by a man named John Froelich, who had visions of the machines he would invent. The town of Froelich was then a tiny community among rolling Northeast Iowa hills, corn fields, and lush green pastures dappled with grazing cows.
John had already invented a few simple handy gadgets. He was a good businessman and inventor with far-reaching dreams of modernizing farming. John had experienced working on steam engines, but they could be dangerous. He had an idea to make life easier and safer for the farmers he knew. Throughout 1892, John spent a great amount of time in his barn working on a gasoline tractor that would propel its self forward and backwards. This would become the iconic tractor that changed farming forever. People today know his brand as John Deere.
Come to Froelich to explore a moment in time. Tour the 1890’s village that was named after John’s dad Henry. Henry was a German immigrant. Stroll through the village at your leisure. Check out "The Iron Clad General Store", built in 1891. It was covered in fireproof steel to prevent it from burning when exposed to train sparks as the railroad stopped to load and unload freight. The 1920 "Freight Depot and Warehouse" was first used for shipping and later became a home for three families. The one-room schoolhouse is an original and schooled Froelich until 1955. You can still see the last teacher’s writings on the blackboard today. Visit the blacksmith shop that forged many of the tools that were used in the 1890’s when John worked on his first tractor. The local railroad depot has been rebuilt for you to experience a vivid glimpse of the past.
By Gianna Manternach
Image credit: CCDG Darla Kelchen