On Friday we went on a field trip with our homeschool group to Hale Farm and Village. It's a really cool "living history" museum, where the volunteers dress in period clothes and act in character as people of the times. There is the original main homestead, plus many other saved historical buildings that were acquired from other locations, dismantled and then brought here and reassembled, so there is a whole village with various homesteads and shops where there are people demonstrating different skills and trades. We were there for five hours and still didn't quite see everything, and we will definitely be going back again. I took way too many pictures, so I am splitting this post into two. Looking back through my photos, it looks like the place was deserted - but it definitely wasn't! I would hang back at the end of the group and take pics as we were leaving a spot - I was trying to be conscious of not taking pics of others' kids because I don't feel comfortable posting them online, just as I wouldn't be comfortable with someone else posting pics of my kids online without my knowledge or permission. Monkeyman's favorite part was getting to try some of the machines - the corncob machine which stripped the kernels from the cobs, and the apple crushing machine for making cider. Both were worked by a hand crank, and the kids got to take turns doing it; I have a few pics but there was no way to take them without other kids being in the shot so I won't be posting them here for that reason.
I just loved this metal tree sculpture on the wall of the Welcome Center as we walked in. This photo does a good job of capturing Monkeyman's boundless energy! I wasn't sure how well his attention span would hold up for the field trip but I was quite pleased with how well he did. We always recite the rules in the car on the way: 1. No running away / stay where Mom can see you, 2. Listen to Mom and don't argue, 3. No bad words (read this to see why we added that rule), and 4. Be quiet and patient when a "teacher" is talking and don't interrupt.
This is the Hale Homestead. We actually didn't make it inside the main house - we ran out of time seeing everything else! We'll definitely hit it on our next trip there.
It was a perfectly beautiful fall day. There was supposed to be a chance of rain but the weather held up quite nicely for us. I just thought this was a really pretty spot.
This is the first building we went into. It's a log home that was built in 1805 and was lived in by a family with 9 children (!!!). It was originally located in Akron, Ohio. I think this was my favorite building on the farm - I love its beauty and simplicity, and it's kind of a dream of mine to spend time living in a cabin like this someday. Not permanently, but it would be lovely to spend, say, a year living in a cabin in the wilderness to get an appreciation of what *real* life was like before all of the artificial distractions we have today.
This was the volunteer inside that house. She told us about what life was like for the family who lived there - their meals, their work, their lifestyle. There was much emphasis on how the kids all had duties and were expected to help out as soon as they were big enough to walk. One funny way she illustrated this was to point out the chamber pot under the bed in the corner - it was the youngest child's job to clean it out every morning!
This is the second house we went into. It was built in 1845 and was originally located in Twinsburg, Ohio.
I really admired the beautiful stonework. Can you imagine taking apart this puzzle and putting it back together again?
Inside this house we learned about dairy products, specifically the process involved in making butter.
Several of the houses had this intricate stenciling on the walls, and I was really struck by how consistent and perfect it was in all of them. It looked like it could have been printed by a machine but it was done by hand.
This farmer was in the barn and told us all about how people managed their livestock. Again, the children were key in helping with this work. Here he is feeding John, the bull, who apparently failed "ox training" and is now just a pet. This is also where the aforementioned corn machine was located and demonstrated.
If I were a churchgoing type of person, I must say this would be my type of church. It was so beautiful, simple, light and airy - I just loved the brightness and plainness of it, and complete lack of gaudy ornamentation.
The doctor told us all about what kind of medical treatment was available in the 1800's. Especially interesting to Monkey was hearing about bloodletting and the use of leaches. Oh, and the scary looking saw on the floor - yikes! Notice more of that stenciling on the walls here.
Okay, that's it for now. Stay tuned for Part 2 which includes the blacksmith's shop, the pottery shed, the glassworks, and more!