The blacksmith will be hard at work Saturday at the Labor & Industry Museum, and he’ll need some help pumping the big bellows and manning the tongs from kids who drop by for a quick lesson in history.
That’s just part of the action when four Belleville historical groups invite friends and neighbors to explore and learn with them at open houses from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at five Belleville museums:
Historic Garfield Street Saloon, 633 Garfield St.: Stop by to see the Belleville Historical Society’s display of Belleville brewery and saloon artifacts, along with live accordion music.
Victorian Home Museum, 701 E. Washington St., and the Emma Kunz House, 602 Fulton St.: An historical scavenger hunt is a fun way to view the extensive exhibits at these museums of the St. Clair County Historical Society.
Gustave Koerner House, 200 Abend St.: Take a step back in time to the 1800s with a Civil War living history encampment presented by the Col. Friedrich Hecker Camp No. 443 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. It’s presented by the Gustave Koerner House Committee.
Labor and Industry Museum, 123 N. Church St: Watch blacksmith Russell Schleicher in action in the reconstructed blacksmith shop out back. Then check out the 1898 Harrison Jumbo Steam Engine and all the other displays that chronicle Belleville at work through the years. You can watch the 15-minute Belleville Bicentennial video of 250 photographs, and you can even purchase a copy for $15.
For more information, call Will Shannon at 618-234-0600.