News from Garfield Farm

Return to News Index | Garfield Farm Home

Travel Back in Time at Garfield Farm Museum's Harvest Days


CAMPTON HILLS-    On Sunday, October 4th from 11:30am- 4pm, families and friends can step back in time and discover life before modern technology, at Garfield Farm Museum's 28th annual Harvest Days. An archaeological dig will be this year's special feature.

    Harvest Days provides children and adults an opportunity to learn about the realities of our rural heritage. The historic demonstrations remind us of the incredible amount of effort it took to survive in a non-mechanized world. As wheat is run through the fanning mill, children can see firsthand how the grain that made the mid-west so important, was processed in the 19th century. Fall was the time to harvest the bounty of the orchard, and apples were a versatile and important crop. The flash of red and clatter of gears, the sweet fragrance that arises as the apples are crushed, and the golden brown cider flowing into the bucket captures the attention of young and old alike at the cider pressing demonstration.

    The demonstrations of 1840s household and farm skills at Harvest Days stimulate young minds to be creative in problem solving. Their imaginations are even catered to by the words and tall tales of Reid Miller, Story Minstrel, whose traditional yarns and songs fit the historic setting of Garfield Farm.
    Tours of the 1846 brick inn will be ongoing. These tours often spark conversations between grandparent and child as grandparents recall their childhood visits to relatives‚ farms. Tours of the museum's prairie reconnect visitors to nature and its resilience, as the last prairie flowers bloom and go to seed.
    This year, visitors will have a chance to help sift dirt for artifacts as part of an archaeological dig sponsored by Campton Historic Agricultural Lands.  Test pits will be dug in an effort to find the original well that was on the farm when the Garfield family moved here from Vermont in 1841.

    Visitors will also be able to view the ongoing restoration work being done on the farm's oldest building, the 1842 hay and grain barn. Trillium Dell Timberworks of Knoxville, IL has been restoring the timbers of the south gable in preparation of restoring the lightening damaged roof in October. The barn's south peak and wall were damaged in August 2005. However, the museum needs the continued support of individual donors to complete the project. A $15,000 Kane County River Boat is being applied to this $90,000 project.
    A bake sale will be held and refreshments will be offered in the museum's visitor's center, the Atwell Burr House. The event benefits the museum's ongoing efforts to restore the historic buildings and to provide educational programming.
    Schools are invited to reserve space for their classes on Friday October 2nd. The public is invited to attend on October 4th when donations are $6 for adults and $3 for children under twelve. Organized youth groups are asked for a donation of $4 per youth and $5 for adult chaperones.
    The 370-acre Garfield Farm Museum is the only historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and teamster inn being restored by donors and volunteers from 2800 households in 37 states as an 1840s working farm museum. Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt.38 on Garfield Road. For information, call (630) 584-8485 or email

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