'Frolicking in the Snow' exhibit opens at Nobles County Historical Society
The public is invited to see the new exhibit and gather for fellowship and reminiscing about winter activities from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday.
WORTHINGTON — After two weeks of challenging winter weather, the Nobles County Historical Society has a new exhibit for those hoping to remember that snow and ice can be fun, too.
The public is invited to see the new exhibit, “Frolicking in the Snow,” and gather for a time of fellowship and reminiscing about winter activities from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Nobles County Heritage Center, 225 Ninth Street, Worthington. A short program begins at 1:30 p.m., and refreshments will be served.
The exhibit features vintage outdoor sporting gear, from ice skates and skis to sleds and snowshoes, plus a display of photos of historical wintertime activities, such as the many toboggan slides constructed out of wood that graced area parks.
“We’re just trying to invoke some nostalgia from people,” said Beth Rickers, executive director of the historical society. “This used to be a winter haven.”
Cold-weather activities have a long history in the area, with an ice rink on Lake Okabena and huge ice shows where people could show off fancy footwork on the ice. There was even a warming house on what is now Sailboard Beach.
The toboggan slide in Ludlow Park was one of a few in the area throughout history, with another in Chautauqua Park that gave neighborhood kids a place to catch some thrills despite living in a flat area with only a few suitable sledding hills.
Those who wished to show off fancy winter coats or simply get a portrait taken with friends without actually braving the cold could sit for a posed portrait on a toboggan, too.
“I’m going to give a short program (Thursday), but what we really want to do is get some conversations going with people,” said Rickers, noting it would be an informal gathering. “We thought we’d start with a seasonal topic people should have some memories of.”
One of the best-known sledding hills was Pfeil’s Hill, Rickers said, and Jolene Pfeil Kuhl will be at the event to share her memories of the wintry mainstay.
Next year, Rickers hopes to have a larger exhibit focusing on the local ice harvest ready for the winter months.