By LYNN DAVIS
Special to The Pilot
There was a whole lot of juicing at the Chetco Museum in Harbor Sunday, as local residents enjoyed the organization's fifth annual "Cider Sunday."
The event, which raised funds to help with the historical museum's yearly operating costs, featured a 100 year-old cider press for the public to use to make homemade apple cider, as well as many other fun, warm-weather activities.
The press, donated by Archie and Doris McVay, was one of three that were on sight for the day. An electric press was supplied by Glen Garvin, and another hand-operated one was available, courtesy of Roy Hendrick.
After their apples were squished, many stayed a while to tour the museum, listen to live music, eat homemade apple fritters and sip lemonade under shade trees.
"They bring their own apples, and we give them flyers that explain how to process the cider," said lead organizer Mable Boardman.
"Its the only fundraiser of the year," said volunteer Molly Wales. "The apples are ready now, and its a good time to press them."
"It is a great way to get the younger people down here," added Boardman. "Next year we will try and have face-painting, pony rides and maybe a petting zoo to make it even more fun for the kids."
The day's festivities brought together people of all ages to enjoy the sunshine and experience a bit of the area's history.
The Key Club and Leadership classes from Brookings-Harbor High School and Azalea Middle School were on hand to help out in any way they could, from cranking the hand-operated presses, picking and packing apples, to selling raffle tickets and giving out door prizes.
Alexis Purvee with the middle school's Leadership Class assisted with the McVay press.
"I like doing things like this," she said. "Its a really nice museum, and I like helping out."
A raffle was held in the annex building for two handcrafted afghans made by Jean Boardman, and an apple-themed rug and miniature red wagon filled with apple-oriented gifts and accessories, donated by Julie Payne.
Other goodies were showcased and available to purchase in the annex, including a multitude of home-baked pies and cakes. A lemonade stand was operated by junior volunteers Samantha Andersen, Megan Boardman and George Andersen.
Volunteer bakers Vickie Boardman and her mother, Lauretta Newman baked fresh apple fritters and offered them for a suggested donation of 25 cents.
Boardman and Newman said they enjoyed the event and thought is was a great way for the community to get together. Boardman added, "It's neat for the kids to experience a little of how things used to be."
Afternoon music was provided by Autoharpist Bonnie Frasier and singing partner Charlotte Heatherly and 16-year-old Kevin Shepherd played his banjo.
"Its an enjoyable thing," remarked Azalea Middle School band instructor and teacher Mike Shepherd about the weekend activity.
Organizers said they are delighted with the success of this year's event, and are in the midst of planning another community activity for December.
"We did really good," Boardman said. "We were amazed at how well it turned out. We couldn't have done it without the help of all of the volunteers, and the support of businesses like Kerr's, Shop Smart, Del-Cur Supply, and Chetco Pharmacy."
According to the committee chair, Cider Sunday raised $631 (about $300 more than in prior years) to be used for the museum's yearly operating costs, which are estimated to be approximately $4,000.
The organization is completely dependent upon donations, although Boardman said she will be pursuing a few grant opportunities this coming year.
Residents can also support the museum by saving grocery receipts. Boardman reported, "People can save their receipts from Ray's, Shop Smart, and Price 'n' Pride and bring them to the Harbor Post Office, KURY Radio or the Harbor Water Department. One percent of the amount of collected receipts will go toward operation of the museum."
The museum was founded in 1972, and serves as a host to historical items and pieces of information about the Chetco Valley and its pioneers, dating as far back as an old sea trunk from the early 1700s.
"Most of the items for the museum have been donated by four pioneer families, the McVays, Paynes, Gardner', and Van Pelts, although others have donated, as well. We also have a lot of items from the Chetco and the Tolowa Indians." Boardman said.
The museum's house and land was donated by Judy Colegrove and the new room on the annex building, as well as the radio collection, was donated by Vern Garvin.
She added, "We may not be very big, but we have a lot of history here."