Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Those who attended the 53rd Harvest Home Festival at the First Presbyterian church in Pierceton last Saturday took part in an annual event which has become an institution in our county. This festival has always been held on the second Saturday of October; it has always been called "Harvest Home" and each festival has featured chicken pie.

In 1900, when the first festival was held, the Presbyterians at Pierceton were worshiping in a church which had been built by the Universalists 31 years before. This building had been purchased by the Presbyterians in the early 1880's. The need of raising money for a new church building was probably the reason for inaugurating this annual dinner.

The menu of the first festival included baked beans, pumpkin pie, doughnuts, coffee and the specialty--chicken pie. A few years later, ice cream was added to the menu, and, although commercially made ice cream is now served, many of the men of the church can boast of a long record of crank turning. For years the price of the meal was a standard 25 cents no matter how much you ate.

After a few years, the ladies of the church added what has been called a "fancy table". The ladies make pillow slips, towels, aprons, scarfs, handkerchiefs, rugs and many other items, which are sold in an upstairs room while the festival is in progress.

Six years after the annual festivals began the new church was built during the pastorate of Rev. Gibson Wilson. At that time, Mrs. N. C. Leiter made a quilt-top on which she sewed the names of every person who contributed to a worth project connected with the church. This quilt-top had been all but forgotten until just recently. Last Saturday it was on display in the "fancy table" department and was a source of considerable interest to the people who came to the 53rd annual Harvest Home Festival.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Oct. 14, 1952