CATO — On Friday during a field trip at Cato, children play "pioneer" games, visit the 150-year-old Cato School, went in a cabin and watched several demonstrations.  Over 600 children from area districts toured Cato for Cato Days Tours, hosted by the Cato Historical Preservation Association.

Public tours are available Saturday. 

Visitors will be taken back to the mid-1800s through music, history and re-enactments.  

According to a release from the Cato Historical Preservation Association, activities will begin at 9 a.m. with registration in the Cato Christian Church and will continue throughout the day.  Ralph Carlson, a member of the Old Fuss and Feathers musical group and Cato member from Fort Scott, will perform at 9:30 a.m. in the Cato Church.

Presentations by Anna Portwood Swank and her sister, Elizabeth Portwood Thompson and husband, Jaime Thompson, will take place in the restored 1869 rock school.

Various souvenirs and homemade baked goods will be available at the “Cato Store,” headed up by Stelle. According to the release, proceeds from the tour will benefit the continued restoration and preservation of the Cato School and Cato Christian Church, as well as a newly-constructed cabin donated by the Coonrod family.  

At noon, ham and beans cooked by Bob “Buck” Rowland of Arma, will be served along with cornbread. There will be an open fire for attendees who wish to cook their own hot dogs. Drinks will also be provided, all for a nominal fee, the release said. 

After lunch, at approximately 12:30 p.m., a quilt donated by Sue James of Galveston, Texas, will be given away as part of a drawing.  James’ husband, Dale James, attended all eight grades at the one-room Cato School, the release said. 

At 1 p.m., Cato member Joe Bournonville will offer hayrides to area cemeteries and other sites related to Cato’s history.