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Penfield AppleFolkFest growing in popularity

Season-ending event Oct. 9

Joan Hunsdon, Crown Point president of the Penfield Foundation, leads a tour of the Penfield Museum. The museum will close for the season Oct. 9 with its annual AppleFolkFest.

Joan Hunsdon, Crown Point president of the Penfield Foundation, leads a tour of the Penfield Museum. The museum will close for the season Oct. 9 with its annual AppleFolkFest.

— AppleFolkFest will conclude the 2011 season at the Penfield Museum.

“AppleFolkFest is becoming our most popular event,” said Joan Hunsdon, president of the Penfield Foundation. “On a nice fall day with all the colors, it’s a wonderful scene.”

Slated for Sunday, Oct. 9, an ecumenical service at the Penfield Church will get things started at 9:30 a.m.

AppleFolkFest features a craft fair and flea market 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. as well as chili and apple desserts starting at 11 a.m.

It will also include live music and family activities.

Admission is free. More information is available by calling 597-3804.

Located in the Crown Point hamlet of Ironville, the Penfield Museum is the former home of Allen Penfield and reflects the 19th Century when mining dominated the regional economy. It is also the birthplace of the electrical age.

The hamlet of Ironville, on the National Register of Historic Places, is listed as the “Birthplace of the Electric Age” since it is the site of the first industrial application of electricity in the United States in 1831. The electricity was provided by a simple battery known as a “wet battery,” which in turn was used to power one of Joseph Henry’s electromagnets. The electromagnet was used in Ironville to recharge the magnetic prongs on the magnetic ore separator, a machine used to remove the iron from the crushed ore.

The magnet also became a novelty and people would come from miles to see it’s strength. Thomas Davenport, of Brandon, Vt., was so fascinated with the magnet at Ironville that he purchased it from Allen Penfield at a cost of $75. With the experimentation that Davenport did on that magnet, it lead to his invention of the electric motor in the mid 1830s.

Central to the museum is an exact replica of a large electromagnet now in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

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