Granary crowd enjoys music, digs into fresh ice cream

Farm Forum

ABERDEEN — About 50 people attended a relaxing afternoon of oldtime music and homemade ice cream on July 20 at the Granary Rural Cultural Center near Groton.

The Granary has been operated by Dacotah Prairie Museum for the past three years. Lora Schaunaman, curator of exhibits at the museum, said the Granary has been in place since 1995. It was set up by John Sieh as a place where artists could gather. Sieh set aside the area as a tribute to his mother, who was an artist. The property includes the Sieh family homestead, the Granary and Putney Hall, which was moved to the site in 1996.

“As a tribute to her, he wanted this as a place where rural artists could gather,” Schaunaman said.

The event is one of several that take place throughout the summer and, Schaunaman said, word is slowly word spreading about the Granary.

The event featured Lois Beckner playing on the hammered dulcimer; Perk Washenberger on the accordion; and the Rock River Boys performing country and bluegrass selections.

Schaunaman said the idea for the event was simply to create an atmosphere where people could unplug from technology and come out and enjoy an afternoon of live music, old-fashioned ice cream and watermelon.

“The sorts of things that people used to do when the pioneers were first settling here,” Schaunaman said. “That’s what we’re trying to emulate (Sunday) afternoon.”

Buff and Shirley Heinle took the opportunity to come out on July 20.

“I thought it would be a beautiful day to pick up my dad and grandson and enjoy some good music,” Shirley Heinle said.

At one point, Buff and Shirley Heinle were seen dancing a two-step to music performed by Washenberger. Their grandson also helped churn some old-fashioned ice cream.

Other events that take place at the Granary include youth art camps; music, cultural and educational programs; Once Upon a Time Adventures and Imagination on Aug. 2; and the Living History Fall Festival on Sept. 27. In addition to special events, the Granary is open from June through August on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Information about future events at the Granary can be found at

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