Monday, April 27, 2009

The Frontier Culture Museum

A couple weeks ago (while on spring break), mom and I decided to pack up the kiddos and head west-- over the mountains towards Staunton, Virginia, home of the Frontier Culture Museum. Over the past several months, a slew of advertisements had crossed mom's path, and after reading through each one, her curiosity was effectively piqued.  So now-- with a whole week to ourselves-- it seemed the perfect time to venture west for a look-see.  And boy, am I glad we did, as we all had a fabulous time!

"The Frontier Culture Museum is an outdoor, living history museum featuring exhibits and programs that explore the origins and history of the American people."
-- brochure

Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, the museum maintains a 1750's English cottage, an Irish farm house, a German farm house, and three American homes, circa 1740, 1820, & 1850 respectively. These homes have been fully restored and furnished as they likely would have been in their original condition.  To bring the homes to life, the employees then (dressed in period costumes) station themselves throughout the grounds-- in the houses or in the gardens, anxious to answer questions and share tidbits of information which might prove interesting to their guests.  They also work the land-- planting vegetables, building fences-- in an effort to constantly improve upon what's already there.  

While we were strolling around, a cooper made buckets for use on the property, two ladies dyed hard boiled eggs (in onion skins and crushed beetles) in preparation for an English Easter celebration, an "Irish wife" spun thread on her spinning wheel and then passed it off to "her husband" for him to then weave into cloth on the loom.  What a treat! Each of these folks convincingly portrayed characters from days gone by, and each truly gave us a great sense of what life must have been like generations ago (though the boys still prefer modern-day America with their video games and dvds... go figure!)

In the above photo, Bub especially appreciated the wooden shoes-- "old-fashioned Crocs," he called them (though they were surely not as comfy as today's rubbery version), and all three enjoyed a round or two in the outdoor bowling lane before we called it a day~

Tomorrow I'll post a few more pics (and perhaps even some on Wednesday, too :)  We had a delightful time-- and thankfully, the weather cooperated, too, providing us with a perfect introduction to spring!  (Of course, now as I type this, we're anticipating another 95 degree day... whatever happened to spring??  I'm not ready for July temperatures yet!)


Anonymous said...

You WILL get cooler weather real soon. We had mid 80's Wednesday and Thursday, then snow on Friday and Saturday. Snow is mostly gone now and the temperatures are creeping up one more time. Gramoggie

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad to hear about this place! Thanks for the tip.

I'm with you about the weather. I should not have my a/c on in April! We're headed to FL later this week... to get a relief from this heat. : )