BAKER — Memories of days gone by are fresh in the minds of visitors to the Baker Block, who now eagerly anticipate the November Baker Heritage Festival following Saturday's Baker Memories Day.
In the Baker Block Museum, a U.S. Marine Corps dress uniform cover drew John Griffin, 7, to the display of military memorabilia as he and his brother Daniel, 10, explored the eclectic collection.
The brothers, visiting the Block for Baker Memories Day from Holt with their mom, Evelyn, tried on several of the displayed uniform hats, John giving a snappy salute as he donned the Marine cover.
"That hat's too small for you," John said, laughing, as a Boy Scout field cap perched atop his brother's head.
At the end of the Baker Block porch, the Baker Mercantile welcomed visitors, some of whom remembered when the original Mercantile filled most of the building.
"They have some nice things in there," Crestview resident Joann Smith of Crestview said, emerging from the store. "When I was a little girl we'd come in the Mercantile for candy when we'd come to Baker to visit Maw-maw and Paw-paw.
"To a little girl, it seemed like they sold everything under the sun," she added.
Outside in the Heritage Park, vendors, some of them Mercantile merchants, sold arts and crafts, plants, aprons and other merchandise.
Popular on the sweltering day were Jerry Champion's homemade ice cream, churned using an old-time engine, and snow-cones sold by the women and youth of Golan Assembly of God in Baker.
"Everybody said it's good," Champion said. "Either they're good liars or it's pretty good ice cream."
Grill masters Jim Turner and Jamey Broxson, who organized the event the past three years, said requests for hamburgers and hotdogs started coming in early, necessitating opening lunch sales half an hour ahead of the announced noon serving time.
"We had folks asking for 'em," Turner said. "If they want to spend money to help raise money for the museum, we're not going to say 'no.'"
For Turner, the museum holds special significance. The log cabin in which his mother, Marinell Hutto, and her father, Orbie Hutto, were born is one of the vintage Heritage Park buildings.