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Escape Commercialism and Celebrate the Harvest  at Garfield Farm Museum’s Harvest Days

CAMPTON HILLS—On Sunday, October 5th, from 11:30 am - 4 pm, visitors can step back in time and discover life before modern technology at Garfield Farm Museum’s 33rd annual Harvest Days.

     As every holiday and season has become a marketing opportunity, Garfield Farm Museum’s Harvest Days pays tribute to the bounty of the land the rich natural resources of prairie and soil helped create as the cornerstone of this country’s heritage. Turning down the graveled Garfield Road, surrounded by fields, native fall asters blooming in the roadside, and a canopy of black walnut and hedge apple trees overhead, all signs of modern life quickly disappear. At the crest of the hill across from the country cemetery, the wooden barns and brick house of 170 years ago recalls a once common scene that repeated itself every quarter mile on the Illinois horizon.

    Harvest Days provides children and adults alike with the 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. 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 capture the attention of young and old alike at the cider pressing demonstration.

    The demonstrations of 1840s household and farm skills at Harvest Days stimulate the minds of the young and the old. Their imaginations are catered to by the words and tall tales of Reid Miller, Teller of Tall Tales, whose traditional yarns and songs fit the historic setting of Garfield Farm.

          Georgiana Vitti will be sharing her research on the stagecoach routes of Northern Illinois. A 3/4 replica of a coach will accompany her interpretation which is especially relevant as the 1846 brick inn was on a stage route.  Tours of the 1846 brick inn will be ongoing. Tavern tours often spark conversations between grandparent and child as grandparents recall their childhood visits to family farms. Children will delight in seeing the museum’s farm animals. These include mostly rare heritage breeds of chickens, turkeys, sheep, hogs, and oxen. Tours of the museum’s prairie reconnect visitors to nature and its resilience, as the last prairie flowers bloom and go to seed.

    A bake goods and garden produce market will be held with refreshments offered by Inglenook Pantry in the museum’s visitor’s center, the Atwell Burr House. Donations for Harvest Days are $6 for adults and $3 for children under twelve and under.

    Garfield Farm Museum is the only historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and teamster inn being restored by donors and volunteers as an 1840s working farm museum. Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off IL Rt.38 on Garfield Road. For information, call (630) 584-8485 or email