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Step Back in Time at Garfield Farm Museum’s 1840’s Days - June 27-28

On Saturday, June 27th and Sunday, June 28th from 10am-4pm, visitors can step back in time and discover what life was like over 160 years ago during Garfield Farm Museum’s 1840’s Days. The event offers children and adults the opportunity to learn about their rural heritage through guided tours and demonstrations.

Life in the 1840’s was very different than it is today. Farm families, like the Garfield family, had to survive without electricity, running water, and many other modern conveniences. Farm work and household chores were physically demanding and there was always more work that needed to be done. During the event, visitors will be able to experience daily life in the mid 19th century through period demonstrations by costumed interpreters.
   The restored 1846 brick inn will be open for tours. Visitors will be able to see the kitchen, ladies parlor, taproom, ballroom, and customers’ bedroom. Highlights of the tour include many original Garfield family items, such as, the spinning wheel that the family brought with them from Vermont when they moved to Illinois. The tour often sparks conversations between family members as they recall childhood recollections of growing up on a farm.

    In addition to the brick inn, visitors will be able to walk through the museum’s historic barns. The 1842 barn is the oldest building on the property. Although damaged by a lightning strike in 2005, this historic structure has survived and plans are underway for its restoration. The 1849 horse barn was recently re-roofed. It was originally built to house the horses for the customers staying at the inn.

    Children will delight in seeing the museum’s farm animals. These include rare heritage breeds of chickens, turkeys, geese, sheep, hogs, and oxen. Visitors will have a chance to see the oxen in action during several ox driving demonstrations over the course of the two days. Finally, Visitors can also tour the museum’s prairie, giving them a chance to reconnect with nature while learning about native plants and the impact of human development on the landscape.   

    Admission to the 1840’s Days event is $6 for adults and $3 for children.  A bake sale will be held and refreshments will be offered in the museum’s visitor center, the Atwell Burr House. The event benefits the museum’s ongoing efforts to restore the historic buildings and to provide educational programming.

    Garfield Farm Museum is a 370 acre historically intact former 1840’s prairie farmstead and teamster inn that volunteers and donors are preserving as an 1840’s living history museum. The museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, Illinois off ILL Route 38 on Garfield Road. For event information, contact the museum at (630) 584-8485 or

For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: or call 630/584-8485.