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...