7/16/2014 12:01:00 AM Historical Society hosting Shay Days this weekend
Ephraim Shay didn't stop inventing after he patented a geared locomotive in 1881. In fact, he was just getting started. This ingenious man built a steel boat, a stamped steel house and brought running water to Harbor Springs at the turn of the 21st century.
Join the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society to celebrate the ingenuity of Ephraim Shay on Friday and Saturday, July 18-19. Shay Days events will run between 10 am and 3 pm both days at Shay Park and the Shay Hexagon House as well as the Harbor Springs History Museum at 349 E. Main Street. Admission for Shay Days is FREE for children and Historical Society members, and $5 for adults; all proceeds benefit the mission of the Historical Society. Souvenir tickets are good for both days.
Live steam model trains will be up and running both days under the tent at Shay Park (the green space at Main and Judd streets). The steam up will include a steam-driven Shay Locomotive and other trains. Avid railroaders, like Dave Comer of Harbor Springs, say that live steam is an experience like to no other to be seen, smelled and heard.
Next door at the historic Shay Hexagon House, there will be electric trains, information about the life and works of Ephraim Shay and docents to share additional information about the Hexagon House built in 1892 and constructed primarily out of stamped steel. If you're curious about Ephraim Shay the man, plan to attend one of two talks with Shay family descendant Duane Fahey who will give presentations in the Shay House Friday at 2:00 pm and Saturday at 11:00 am.
Walking tours titled "In Shay's Day" will explore the Shay buildings and the former railroad grade of the Hemlock Central. The one-hour walking tours are offered both Friday and Saturday at 10:30 am starting at the Harbor Springs History Museum. Reservations are encouraged by calling (231) 526-9771.
On Saturday, July 19, Ephraim Shay will come to life as part of Family Day activities. Kids of all ages are invited to the Harbor Springs History Museum to meet Ephraim Shay beginning at 10:30 am. Mr. Shay will talk with the children and be on hand to answer questions. A variety of games and crafts will also be available to encourage kids' creativity. As Shay Days is held around Shay's birthday (July 17), it wouldn't be a true celebration without cake and singing. Join the party at 1 pm for birthday cake and wish Ephraim Shay a happy 175th birthday.
Families are also encouraged to pick up a scavenger hunt at the museum. These self-guided clues for families will be available both Friday and Saturday. Prizes will be given to all participants with a grand prize drawing on Saturday at 1:00 pm just after the birthday cake has been served.
For more information, please call the Historical Society at (231) 526-9771 or visit www.HarborSpringsHistory.org.