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Harvest Days at Garfield Farm - October 6, 2019

CAMPTON HILLS-  On Sunday, October 6th from 11:30am-4:00pm, at Garfield Farm Museumís 38th annual Harvest Days, families have a chance to educate their children with the heritage and history of this country that school curriculums and budgets have shortchanged over the last decade.

    The demonstrations of 1840s household and farm skills at Harvest Days stimulate the minds of the young and the old. Conversations between generations begin as they witness the tedious work it took to simply clean wheat to prepare it for flour milling. The basic living quarters of a prosperous 1840s northern Illinois farm family is far below the daily experiences of most Americans. Debate over the enslavement of people was just heating up as sides were drawn as such debate seems so incredulous today. Yet what adults are forgetting is that their children have no experience of this and only by visiting historic sites and events can a young person begin to learn of the difficulties of starting and maintaining a free society.

    As school budgets for field trips have been cut, the challenge lies squarely on the shoulders of parents to expose their children to how this country developed into the most free and prosperous of nations. Incredible entertainment theme parks have been created but at the expense of national and local historic sites and natural areas where children and adults learn about their country. Parents must judiciously use their scarce family vacation time and budget and insure that discovery of oneís country comes before amusement thrills.

    Over 42 years of hard work and sacrifice by volunteers and donors have created this learning laboratory of history, farming and nature gifted to all families and citizens. More topics here can be covered in an afternoon that would take a month of reading to a child to begin an appreciation. Even the volunteers at Harvest Days are a lesson for the young to learn of the civic involvement and giving of time as the volunteers show the children and adults the realities of Americaís past.

    It will also be a time of celebration as a 1:30 pm cake cutting will observe the restoration of the 1906 dairy barn as it debuts anew at its first Harvest Day. A once in a lifetime experience, seeing a barn newly restoration, gives a great appreciation for craftsmanship that is rare today. The 1906 dairy barn also hints at the engineered building era of today as structurally it consists of a wooden truss system and iron tie rods to suspend the hayloft floor, creating open span first floor. Restoration work by Trillium Dell Timberworks of Knoxville, IL was funded by the generosity of the Hamill Family Foundation making this one of a kind major project possible.

    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 museumís farm animals. These include mostly rare heritage breeds of chickens, turkeys, sheep, hogs, and oxen. Tours of the museumís prairie reconnect visitors to nature and its resilience, as the last prairie flowers bloom and go to seed.

    A bake sale will be held and lunch and refreshments by Inglenook Pantry will be offered in the visitorsí center, the 1840s 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 ILL Rt.38 on Garfield Road. For information, call (630) 584-8485 or email