One of the joys of homeschooling, is field trips. We love to take field trips! We had the opportunity today to go to Pioneer Farm Museum and Ohop Indian Village, in Eatonville, Washington.
When I was a child, I vaguely remember coming here for field trips. I think 2 or 3. I loved it then!
Jack, the farm horse, welcomed us at the start of our tour. I went and gave Jack a nuzzle and he licked my hand! Never had a horse do that before. 🙂
Our first stop on our tour was the cabin where the Pioneers lived. The cabin we went into was much larger than the real ones, so that they could fit groups of people in there for tours. Because of the lack of windows, it was quite dark inside. The crackling fired burning in the fireplace kept it warm inside.
Our tour guide was a very nice lady. She showed the kids how to do everything along with teaching them the hows and whys. She explained things very well to the kids and I enjoyed listening to her! Inside the cabin, the kids got to learn many different things. Laundry, mashing corn for cornbread, milling wheat for flour, playing with children’s toys, making butter, grinding coffee, making your own yarn for wool, and the young men got to learn about shaving. The kids also learned about discipline and the chores that children had.
After we were all done in the cabin, we walked out to the barn/smith/workshop. Inside the barn we were introduced to T-Bone the calf, a milking cow named Betsy, a sheep named Cocoa, a goat that no one now can remember her name, a funny little pig donned Bacon Bits, one brown bunny who goes by the name of Stu and a few chickens. The kids were able to go in all of the pens and pet the animals. I visited Cocoa and Bacon Bits. I so miss my sheep and pigs.
Cocoa and the sweet smell of her lanolin flooded me with memories. Bacon Bits and her pig nose was something I had a hard time leaving! (A little secret about me. I love pigs and their noses. Have you ever felt one? I love to just squeeze them and play with them. I call it Pig Nose.) The smell of the barn and the animals was exhilarating. I inhaled deeply. One child said,
“It stinks in here.”
I looked at her and said,
“I think it smells good!”
Unfortunately, my camera battery was dying, so I was unable to get photos of the animals because my flash took too much power.
After the barn, we traveled to the blacksmith forge. The kids were taught the safety and knowledge that you can cram into about a 10 minutes
spiel. We then walked over to the wood shop and was taught how to peel bark off of logs and small rounds of branches for making a cabin. After the talks the kids were able to go and play around in these areas.
While we were listening here, I took a moment to look up into the trees. There was rain drops glistening in the sunlight, hanging and dancing, glorifying in the warmth that He gave them. This grabbed my soul and I thought,
Lord, that is beautiful. Thank you for allowing me this glimpse of glistening and sparkling magic that is You.
Our tour guide for this area, was a very nice man. He made everyone laugh and giggle and just made it fun! You could tell that he enjoyed his job and likes the kids.
Next up on our tour was going inside a real pioneer’s cabin. This was a cabin that had been donated to the farm by Richard and Camilla Stidham. The cabin was owned by his ancestors before. Everything in the cabin was either from the first owner, or the Stiham’s family.
Old pictures adorned the walls with their explanations posted under them. They had the cabin moved there from where it was orginally built in Kapowsin on a trailer. Everything was exactly the same and nothing had been refurnished. In fact, the stairs to climb to get upstairs were not safe. It was roped off and mirrors had been placed to see around.
We crossed the path to another cabin. This one quite a bit smaller than the first. In the yard of this cabin was an actual covered wagon. I had no idea how narrow they were! How their families slept in there with all of their belongings is incredible!
One of the highlights of the trip was riding in a wagon pulled by Jack. After listening to the rules, the children boarded one by one. Around the schoolhouse they went, picking up speed into a trot after the last corner. Adults got to ride after the kids, so it was nice to ride with a few of my friends from church around the block in a wagon! 😀
The schoolhouse was very neat! The desks were actual old children’s desks. They told the kids the rules. The kids were segregated by sex. What would get you a lashing (it was almost everything!). Then we were told that there is actual schoolhouse tours that you can come and do, where the children spend an hour and a half in school. They do lessons just like the pioneers do! How fun would that be?!
It warmed my heart when I noticed a Bible verse from Matthew written on one of the chalkboards.
Our last stop on the tour was visiting the General Store. Here was our chance to buy some stick candies and other little treasures. Hubby found himself a raccoon tail, Kyle got himself a toy, Amanda found herself candy (of all things, the child got candy) and I scored some homemade soap. It is Lavendar Coffee Mint. Beautiful.
If you are in the area of Eatonville, Washington, you really should take a trip out to Pioneer Farm. Today, we were the last tour of the season. But it reopens in the Spring. If you’d like more information, click here.
To me, everything that I learned today, I stored away for future knowledge. Not only is learning about the history great, but learning how to live off the land and without modern technologies may be something that we have to do someday. I think it’s important that we don’t lose and forget the skills that our ancestors knew. How many of you know how to make butter, make your own yarn, wash clothes by hand on a scrub board or forge your own metals? There were some awesome lessons learned today.
I overheard one older girl today say to another girl,
This is a lot cooler than I thought it would be! I thought it sounded so boring.
I’m glad to hear her say that! Bringing History to life like this is important for children and adults. Hubby even enjoyed himself!
One last thing I almost forgot! The teacher’s house. This was an actual teacher’s house. The man had 11 children and they lived inside a 10′ x 10′ house. Incredible! I don’t see how, we looked inside. Check it out:
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise.