Monday, May 18, 2009

back in time.


In between long hours of planting in our gardens, we took a break over the weekend to visit a special event at an area living museum. The event was 'Rituals of Spring'. All of the farms and village buildings were bustling with activities that people in rural Wisconsin in the 19th and early 20th century would have been doing to prepare for the season.


The boys loved seeing all of the animals - friendly sheep dogs herding sheep, oxen pulling carts, and horses taking reenactors from farm to farm for visits and plowing fields.


There were several farms that participated in the shearing and preparation of wool to fibers. We watched cleaning, carding, and spinning of wool - with several hands on activities for the kids We watched yarn being dyed over a fire, and learned about all of the local plants that were used to make all of the colors!


It was a beautiful day to walk - chilly and breezy, but comfortable in the sun. We took the tram to the distant farms (the museum is 600 acres!), and walked a lot in between. It was perfect for me - my back has been bad again, and the long steady walking helped (my new back brace helps too! yay!).


We visited a farm where we learned about flax. The boys were able to whack (and whack and whack) the flax to remove the outer hull of the stem, and run it through a rippler (nails on a board to 'comb' the flax). We then went inside and watched how they made thread from the flax, and then wove the linen!

There were many other fun activities throughout their 65 buildings - rhubarb pie in a summer kitchen, sheep shearing, rope making, soap making, gardening, hand powered laundry, schoolyard games and more!


When we waited for the tram at certain spots the boys tracked our location in relation to the car with the GPS. Lots of fun. We brought home some cotton roving and a drop spindle, wooden yo-yo's and some heirloom herbs. Nice day!

21 comments:

Stephanie said...

Sounds wonderful!
We have a place like that about fifty miles north of here. We've never been, but I'd like to go this summmer! Ours is a bit different -as our clime is different- and we have a Native American camp and Mountain Man / Trapper stuff.
Along with all the pioneer stuff, of course.
What a rich and wonderful day you had!

and I'm glad your back held out!

Julie said...

How fun! What a great outing.

amida said...

That sounds so much fun. I love visiting those go-back-in-time places, especially functioning farms. If I ever visit Wisconsin, I am heading over there!

Barb and Steve said...

We visited there a few years ago, It was a great experience. I love all the old homes.

Erin said...

Definitely seems like a great day!

Joy said...

What a neat place to visit! So much cool stuff for the kiddos to learn and experience. Elizabeth is going to a fiber art camp this summer where she's supposed to learn some of that while making some fiber art. She's excited! I'm sorry your back is giving you trouble again...

Lisa Anne said...

I love places like this, I spent many Saturdays at a place like this when Amelia was younger, dreaming one day of living on a farm of my own...

Michelle said...

What a great place. I would love to visit there myself.

Crescent Moon said...

That sounds like a really fun outing! I should see if we have anything like that around here, it would go perfect with the book we've been reading, Farmer Boy.

Anet said...

I just love stepping back into time at places like this!
Such a great way to spend the day:)

Jane said...

I LOVE living history museums! I laughed at your title because last year we went to VA and I had to visit all the living history museums. J loved it but B kept saying, "are we going back in time again!" He's happy in the present.
I've often said that my dream job would be to be an interpreter at a living history museum where you get to act as though you live in that time (Williamsburg, Plimoth Plantation)
Looks like it was a great day!

Anonymous said...

How is it that I lived almost 40 min from here and have NEVER been? What's wrong with me? It looks like a blast!

Maria
www.eclecticallyyours.typepad.com

Tara said...

Fun day with lots of interesting things to learn and do!

Our homeschool group is planning on visiting a similar museum in the fall- should be fun.

Dawn said...

What a fun place to visit! I loved reading about the descriptions of the spring chores in *Farmer Boy*.

Dawn said...

Wow! That looks fantastic!

I could spend days there....wish we had something like that locally around here.

:)

ladybug-zen said...

that looks like so much fun!

emmy jay said...

Old World Wisconsin -- I love that place! I grew up in Milwaukee but I've lived in New England for the last 20+ years -- although there's a lot of heritage architecture to see out here, OWW still hits my heart and my head in special way. My husband, an 11th generation Yankee, visited it for the first time last year and agrees with me completely.

PumpkinGirl said...

I remember Old World Wisconsin from when I was little. I loved that place. Good to see they're still going strong.

Lisa said...

Oh my gosh, I love these types of living museums. I especially love their herb gardens. Learning about flax, seeing the rippler, then on to making thread and linen; how cool is that? I have never seen that before.

What a huge farm, I don't think I've ever been to one that big. What a great learning experience of a day!

gustoso said...

Oh that looks like a fun day.

anthromama said...

Our family would have LOVED that day!

It's amazing how labor-intensive making clothing is. Flax takes so many steps to turn into linen. Wool comes in a close second, since it doesn't need to be pounded.