The Cedar River Rendezvous takes north Iowa back in time

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OSAGE, Iowa – The life of a blacksmith is something we don’t see every day but the Mitchell County Conservation Board in Osage gave people that opportunity this past weekend.

Schools and families stepped back in time and experienced what life was like for the pioneers at the third annual Cedar River Rendezvous and Outdoor Days.

Morey Bendel took part in the weekend as he does most weekends this time of year.

He and his wife set up camp and demonstrated how life was for blacksmiths back in the day.

“I straightened out 38 steaks for Snake yesterday,” Bandel said.

He does demonstrations throughout the weekend but to him, it’s more of an audience setting for him to carry out one of his many hobbies.

More than 250 school kids visited the rendezvous this year and Mitchell County naturalist Chelsea Ewen said she enjoys the hands on education she sees at this event.

“They get a chance to see the fur trading era of Iowa, which is early 1800s,” she said, “then into pioneer life with soap making skills and knitting and things, into current outdoor events and so it kind of gives everybody a historical and outdoor experience all in one location.”

While it might be all fun and games for those visiting the event, for people like Bandel, it’s a major commitment.

“It’s a lot of fun but it’s a lot of work,” he said.

Bandel is like most of us with a nine-to-five job, but instead of relaxing on the weekends, he prefers to educate people about a time period is fascinated by.

This isn’t the last event hosted by the Mitchell County Conservation board this season. For more information on things coming up visit

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