COLUMBUS – Area residents are invited to experience Bartholomew County history while enjoying a day in the country. Reeves Festival: Powering the Past is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Henry Breeding Farm.

The 13th annual event will feature BBQ pork and chicken with traditional side dishes, wine and beer, home tours, and many activities for adults and children – including corn shelling and grinding, steam engine rides, rope making, spinning and weaving. New to this year’s event will be a display of vehicles. Music will be provided by the Banister Family Bluegrass Band.

“An understanding of the past is essential,” said board president Jason Hatton, “without that, it is impossible to make sense of the present or prepare for the future.” Designed to inspire, excite and inform, Powering the Past highlights the accomplishments of the Reeves family. With more than 100 patents, the family’s inventions changed the way we live today.

It began in the mid-1800s, when a young Milton Reeves noticed his co-workers could not control the speed of the pulleys used to power saws in the sawmill where he worked. This caused the wood to split and created waste. After some months of study and experimentation, he invented a variable-speed transmission to control the saws’ speed. Over the years, Milton and his brothers built an early American automobile (called a motocycle at the time); created a double muffler; produced an air cooled, valve-in-head motor and much more. The variable speed transmission continued to be made by the Reeves Pulley Company until 1955 when the company was acquired by the Reliance Electric Company.

The vast Reeves collection comprises the largest collection owned by the Historical Society. Several of these items will be on view at the event.

Tickets are $5 for BCHS members, $12 for adults and $5 for children 3-12. Children under 3 will be admitted free. Advance tickets are available at the Historical Society or at the event.

For more information, visit or call 812-372-3541.

The Bartholomew County Historical Society is located at 534 Third Street and is open to the public from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

The Bartholomew County Historical Society collects and preserves Bartholomew County artifacts, photographs, and documents. Through interpretive programs and displays, BCHS teaches the heritage of our region enriching both present and future generations.

– Information provided