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Discover the 1840s at Garfield Farm Museum Camps

CAMPTON HILLS, IL:    Children ages eight to fifteen years old will have a chance to discover what life was like in the 1840s at Garfield Farm during two three-day camps this summer. The first session runs from July 7th thru 9th and the second session runs from July 14th thru 16th. Both sessions start at 9am and end at noon each day. The cost is $75 per session. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting the museum at (630) 584-8485 or

    In the mid 1800s, most Americans lived on farms and everyone was needed to help with the daily chores and farm operations. Children were considered a valuable source of labor and would be expected to help out whenever needed. Farming was hard work and families had to make do without many of the simple things that we take for granted today, like electricity and running water.

    This year for avid readers, they can experience firsthand some of the daily life activities that are highlighted in the newly published book, "Angie of Garfield Farm." This fictional account of Angeline Garfield who was 9 years old in 1847 and lived on the farm, details what daily life looked like in the period with the real setting of the farm. The camp experience can be extension of the reader?s book experience.

    During the camps, children will experience farm life through guided tours of the museum's historic barns and 1846 brick inn. They will begin each day by helping to feed the museum's farm animals. These include rare heritage breeds of chickens, turkeys, geese, sheep, hogs, and oxen.

    The children will also take part in hands-on activities and witness demonstrations of everyday activities from the mid-19th century. Possible demonstrations include; blacksmithing, butter churning,  candle dipping, carding wool, contra dancing, cooking demonstrations, corn shelling, cutting hay, flailing wheat, vegetable gardening, gathering eggs, old fashioned games, ox driving, scrubbing laundry, shelling beans, and spinning wool.

    Garfield Farm Museum is a 375 acre historically intact former 1840s prairie farmstead and teamster inn that volunteers and donors are preserving as an 1840s living history museum. The museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, Illinois off ILL Route 38 on Garfield Road. Guided tours are given on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons June through September from 1 - 4 pm, all other times by appointment.