Garfield Farm Heading

Garfield Farm home page | News Index

News from Garfield Farm

2015 Calendar for Garfield Farm Museum

Campton Hills, IL:     As Garfield Farm Museum begins its 38th year, the now available calendar of events for Garfield Farm Museum continues to reflect the project’s three themes of history, farming and the environment. This nonprofit museum supported by donors and volunteers depends upon its activities to generate awareness and new friends to support these themes of concern.
      The first annual event of the year, on February 21, the Natural Areas Management Seminar pays tribute to the how and why Illinois was settled and developed. The thousands of years of deep rooted prairie grasses and flowers enriched the glacial till making it some of the most fertile land in the world. This high fertility attracted settlers to northern Illinois producing such an abundant wheat crop that by 1850 Chicago was shipping more grain internationally than any other city in the world. The seminar features methods to establish, restore, and manage native prairie plants from garden plots to large scale acreage. Throughout the season various woodland and prairie walks will be offered.
      Horticulture and agriculture are emphasized through the year, starting in March with the Antique Apple Tree Grafting Seminar, a Historic Perspective on Organic Gardening lecture, and a Seed Starting Seminar followed by a July workshop on Seed Saving. A celebration of the gardens bounty is held August 23 at the annual Heirloom Garden Show. The Corn 101 lecture helps novices understand all the field harvest activity of fall that dominates the Illinois landscape.
     Agriculture is not just plants, as the museum holds the ever popular Rare Breeds Show in May featuring historic breeds of livestock and poultry and their increasingly rare breeders/owners. In July, children can have a 3 morning hands-on animal experience as two sessions of Garfield Farm Camps will be offered. This summer anthropologist Samira Bamberger will present lectures on animal domestication featuring the museum’s heritage livestock. Harvest Days in October, one for students and one for the general public, brings traditional farm and household chores to light in the tradition of fall observance of the harvest.
     The serious level of historic inquiry at the museum is reflected by a special lecture February 14, with the in-process restoration of the museum’s 1842 threshing barn by Trillium Dell Timberworks.  The August Antique Tool Show features many of the tools used in woodworking and building of 19th century structures. Archaeological inquiry continues in July and August with the museum’s annual field sessions looking for the remnants of 1840s life. The fall companion to these are the lectures Barns 101 and 201 by Special Project Manager David Bauer.
     The museum’s goal is to ultimately offer full time hands on experiences in 1840s daily life. Just visiting the March Fox Valley Spring Antique Show that the museum hosts at the Kane County Fairgrounds with the Chicago Suburban Antiques Dealers Association reveals many of the everyday artifacts of 19th century life. Classes are offered to help discover this era. April’s offerings of dulcimer workshops by Dona Benkert provide an opportunity to discover traditional music in 1840s America. Human expression is further offered by Crystal Hollis’ Creative Writing Workshop that uses the farm’s setting to inspire writers at all experience levels. The museum’s themes of heritage, farming and nature will be reflected in works of invited artists at a July gallery art show and sale. Now viewed as an artisan skills set, a June buckskin tanning class by Spring de Leon, and two fall blacksmithing classes by the museum assistant site manager Joseph Coleman will offer additional hands on experience.
    Within the year there is always time for the museum to celebrate its friends and volunteers. An April awards dinner at the Dunham Woods Riding Club, a November Volunteers Recognition Party, and the December open house, Candlelight at the Inn, celebrate all the museum’s friends and as Candlelight welcomes  new friends to discover this nearly 4 decade old project.
      Throughout the year, visitors can have highly personalized guided tours of the museum by simply calling to set an appointment.  For more casual spur of the moment tours, visitors are welcome between 1 – 4 pm on Wednesdays and Sundays June through September. Volunteer opportunities abound and over 120 Eagle Scout and several Gold Award projects have benefited the farm.
    Garfield Farm and Tavern Museum is the only 375 acre historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and inn being restored as an 1840s working farm museum. Over 3500 households from 38 states and 4 countries have donated funds or labor to save this historic site that consists of first and second generation farmsteads. For further information call 630 584-8485, e-mail or view the calendar at Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off IL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road in Campton Hills, IL.