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2017 Garfield Farm Museum Calendar of Events:  40 Year Anniversary

January 29 Lecture on The Different Families of Garfield Farm


     The now available 2017 Calendar of Events for Garfield Farm Museum will feature some special additions as this is the 40th year anniversary of the founding of the museum.

     Life on the farm after the 1840s country inn era will be the focus of the first program of the season on Sunday January 29 at 2 pm. The history of the second and third generation of Garfields, the Crook, Swanson, and Strom families who lived on the farm at various times will be discussed. There is a $6 donation and there will be light refreshments.

      Many of the museumís major traditional events are at least 20 or more years old. As the seasonality of  agricultural life had long standing traditions of planting and harvest, the museum has strived to maintain the annual excitement of new life with its spring Rare Breeds Livestock and Poultry Show, the bounties of summer produce at its August Heirloom Garden Show, and the culmination of the yearís work at its fall Harvest Days.      

      The museumís two founding non profit organizations, Garfield Heritage Society and Campton Historic Agricultural Lands were chartered respectively on May 12 and November 29, 1977 when Elva Ruth Garfield donated 163 acres and her familyís historic farmstead to be used as an 1840s living history farm and inn museum.

      In 40 years the museum has expanded from 7 buildings and 163 acres to 27 historic structures and 374 acres of preserved farmland, prairie, wetland, and woods encompassing two generational farmsteads. This is all  more the museum founders ever dared imagine. A series of lectures will be offered detailing the history of creating the museum and its broad coverage of the museumís three inseparable themes of American history, farming and nature. Donors and volunteers from over 3800 households hailing from 46 states and 6 countries have given in excess of $10 million and thousands of hours of labor to reach this point.

         On February 12, the history of restoring the buildings at the farm will be the topic and a March 12 lecture on the history of restoring the natural areas will be featured. On April 8, museum archaeologist Jim Yingst will speak on the four decade search the 1835 log house and on April 13, a 175 birthday celebration of the recently restored 1842 threshing barn will be held. Garfield Heritage Societyís May 12 birthday will focus on the activities of Garfield Heritage Society. The November 29th birthday of Campton Historic Agricultural Lands will look at the impact it has had on preserving land at the farm and in the region.

     The celebration of the Culbertson and Garfield families arriving on the land in 1835 and 1841 will include a Saturday night July 8 contra dance, the first offered to the public in the newly restored 1842 barn.    

     A 40 year reverence for the land will be demonstrated in a series of monthly nature walks beginning in April across the museumís woodlands, prairie, and wetlands to see their various stages of restoration. From the stubble of spring controlled burns to the towering prairie grasses of September, faithful participants can discover the true nature of the world that dominated Illinois up through first settlement.

      All told lectures, workshops and seminars round out a year of over 36 events that include topics on natural area management, antique apple tree grafting, dulcimer playing, backyard chicken raising, blacksmithing, childrenís farm camps, and archaeological investigation. Assorted lectures include early American farmingís role in democracy, womenís needlework on the prairie, 1840 s medications, the history of corn and the basics of barn types and construction, and the facts and fictions of the childrenís chapter book ďAngie of Garfield FarmĒ. Not to be forgotten are two standout events at the museum, the August Antique Tool Show and Sale and the atmospheric December Candlelight at the Inn.

     Differing events may require reservations and the fees range from $3 to $60 per person. Tours of the farm for drop in visitors are offered on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons June through September from 1 pm until 4 pm. Tours are also available by appointment year round.

      Garfield Farm Museum is the only 374 acre historically intact former Illinois prairie farmstead and tavern listed on the National Register of Historic Sites in Illinois that is being restored as an 1840s living history farm museum. The museum depends exclusively on donations to preserve the incredible historic, agricultural, and natural resources on the farm. The museum is located in Campton Hills, IL off Illinois Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. For information or reservations call 630 584-8485, e-mail info@garfieldfarm.org or see www.garfieldfarm.org.