Sunday, September 21, 2008

1800s for a day.

Today we had another field trip - a visit to Old World Wisconsin. We have been wanting to go for awhile and this weekend was a great time to visit - it was not crowded and the weather was great.


Old World Wisconsin, as you can probably guess, is a group of period settlements representing rural and town Wisconsin during the late 1800s. Each building was carefully moved from its home in some Wisconsin town and re-constructed on site at OWW. Quite a wonder. Several settler populations from this time period are represented - German, Polish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, African American, and Yankee.


We started in town and visited the shoemaker, blacksmith, church, general store, and the inn (the boys even played croquet!) before heading out to the farms.

The boys had a blast riding the tram from village to village (the entire place is over 600 acres, so while walking is nice, the tram is wonderful). Each farm had something interesting and different - summer kitchens, baking, food preservation, weaving, farm animals, smokehouses - many manned by volunteers in period costume who chatted with us and showed us around as they went about their day. We also visited the one room schoolhouse - the boys liked the school bell. A lot.


Each farm had a large food garden and farm animals - which the boys liked a lot - cows, sheep, pigs, chickens. The chickens liked us too...


In addition to the tram there were many hiking trails connecting the villages - it is so lush and forested there - great place to hike. At the end, we visited the town hall - which had all sorts of games for kids as well as weaving, quilting and spinning.


The boys don't think rural Wisconsinites had it too bad back then - except for the tiny farm houses...but when they heard about the cold Wisconsin winters and keeping everyone warm only via the wood stove, they thought cozy made sense on the farm and having a bed in the main room was a good thing! ;)


What a great day! It is so much fun learning about history through a living museum. It makes it more real, more fun and interesting, and kids take away so much from it. We already have some questions A and G want answered, so we will re-visit some of our Laura Ingalls-Wilder books and have some fun. And I think we will go back for their Autumn Harvest in October - the leaves will be amazing by then!

I took so many pics that I'm posting some at Flickr...

18 comments:

Ruth said...

What a perfect way to connect the Wilder stories with visual and hands-on experiences. It makes me wonder how their little minds conceive of previous times. We have a little historical village, but it's not nearly as big as yours. It's fun to go there at Christmas time. Also, we have a historical family home down in South Carolina, and it's now a museum. the kitchen was out back, not in the house!

so NOT cool said...

Gosh, we haven't been there in years, but it's so much fun. As a child, I loved all things old-time.

Yesterday, we attended the Driftless Festival in Crawford County. It was a lot of fun, and we met up with a Wisconsin blogging friend/artist.

Tara said...

What a great field trip- Owen would enjoy visiting something like this. I'm off to check out the rest of your pics!!

denise said...

Ruth - One kitchen we visited was in the process of showing how they moved the HUGE stove OUTside for the summer and then of course back in for the fall. The boys couldn't believe it! :)

Dawn said...

I had so much fun just looking at your pictures..I know I would love to visit this place.

anthromama said...

We could spend DAYS in a place like that! The first thing I thought of was Little House in the Big Woods.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

It looks like the you all had fun (very important) and that you learned a lot. I think that is a wonderful way of tying in hands-on experience with your reading and studying. And it looked like you had great weather to boot!

Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

I would so love to visit this place one day

I like the olden days

Jen

Lisa Anne said...

There was a place like this in Ohio that I love to take Amelia to. I love learning like this.

Anet said...

Wonderful trip! I love historic places like this. We have a trip planned to a village for a weekend in October to celebrated some birthdays.
I'll check flickr for more photos! Happy Fall Equinox!

mamakopp said...

That is too funny ;) We were thinking alike this weekend! My kids got the biggest kick out of the 1800's toys. Interesting how much time they spent with them ;)
Love it!

Karen Maezen Miller said...

This is exactly the kind of experience that made me quiver as a child, and sent me looking, after oh so long a time, for the deeper truth of time. I applaud.

RunninL8 said...

That looked like such a fun place to visit! I love those places that take you back in time for a day! And I'm coveting those wool carders!!! Right now, we're using the cat brushes!
Off the topic...where did you get the cool font for your page header? I hate my plain one and would love something funkier!

Tara said...

I love these kinds of places! We have one here – Hale Farm. Your post reminds me that I should look them up online and see what we can take Tess to.

Dawn said...

Oh, what fun! Fun for kids and adults alike~ The scenery is beautiful, I am longing for Fall but will have to wait a few weeks until we head to MO!
:)

Bug's mom said...

Look like fun. My husband mentioned this place to me a couple of months ago...I'd never heard of it. We'll have to try to get there someday.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Such a joy to see your boys trying out the days of old... I loved seeing them carding wool... and I also loved seeing the loom in the threading stage... 600 acres.. thats big..

I worked for a couple months at the Kings Landing Historical Settlement in the early 90's here in New Brunswick. I was lucky enough to be the Village weaver/spinner. We dressed in costume .. it was like getting paid to have fun!!... The lady of each house would make dinner each day for us using traditional recipes over the open hearth.. I was so hungry and it was so good.. not a bad deal!!

all I had to do was spin for my supper!!

Mexanese said...

oh I would have loved to go on this!!! Great pictures! It looks like your little guys had a blast!!!!