Monday, April 12, 2010

Heritage Farm Field Trip

Friday, we went on a local field trip to Shields-Etheridge Farm. There are lots of places in our area to explore, yet somehow we never go to them! I was really glad to have a chance to visit this farm and to experience some local history. Shields-Etheridge has been a working farm since 1792! One unique thing about the farm is that while many historical farms have buildings moved in from other places, all the buildings at Shields-Etheridge are original to the property, standing in the original place they were built. Our first stop was the blacksmith's shop.

The caretaker of the farm arranged for us to have reenacters on site to show us how things were in the old days. The blacksmith is a young man who's been studying the craft for 7 years. Though he's had a mentor, he's largely self-taught.
This is outside the general store. I mean, they had everything! Canned goods, baking needs, harnesses, kerosene, even a little homemade bubblegum machine for the kiddies.
I learned that the counters in the general store were slanted backwards to accomodate ladies' hoop skirts!
There were also Civil War reenacters there. The two men were dressed in their Confederate uniforms. They showed us all the things soldiers would carry with them and shared lots of interesting facts about the Civil War era.
The farm also contained a schoolhouse, and the teacher lived on the property, too. Her house was part of the tour. The kids got to see what it was like to live without running water or electricity. Here, they had the opportunity to hand wash some laundry and hang it out to dry.

This is what Selah did for a good part of the tour.

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