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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nelson Pioneer Farm Museum




Nelson Pioneer Farm Museum is located two miles north of Oskaloosa, Iowa.  We decided to go when they offered a day of free admission on the Sunday before the Fourth of July.



The tour begins in the museum shop opposite the parking area.  Be sure to check out the “comfort station” before you start your walking tour.  The comfort station is located in front of the parking area.






There are homes representing various centuries throughout the farm museum.  Log cabin, a simple white wash square home, and a Victorian era home including summer kitchen were available to walk through and tour.  It was easy to imagine how people lived during those times.  The husband I decided log cabin living wouldn’t be for us.  Thank goodness our pioneering ancestors survived!






The farm museum also features a historic mercantile or store, lumber shop, post office, and polling place.  All authentic.





We also toured a meeting hall or church and an old school house.  Check out the name of the teacher on the chalkboard.  The boy was intrigued by the lunch pails which are literally pails, as he takes his lunch to school, too.


Since it was a special patriotic celebration day on the farm, lemonade and watermelon were complimentary for the guests.  Homemade ice cream was available for purchase.





While the homes and shops were interesting, the sheds full of machinery were of more interest to my traveling crew.  Fire trucks, threshing machines, and locomotives were discovered.



The husband and the boy couldn't resist trying out the jail, circa 1906.  We thought it looked pretty modern for being over a hundred years old.  Either we don't have experience with jail cells or jail cells haven't modernized much the last 100 years.





The big barn was where we spent the most time.  Wagons and sleighs were on display.  But the boy ventured upstairs to the second level and found a play table full of farm equipment and animals.  Think doll house, but farmstead instead.  He visited this area twice and found out the roof the small barn was hinged and could open to reveal the animals inside.

I learned that Mahaska County was an official part of the United States almost two years before Iowa became a state.  There was definitely much to learn, see, and discover on the farm.

We also ran into a family geocaching on the farm.  They had used the GPS function on their mobile phone to find the location, recorded it, and replaced the box.  While they weren’t supposed to clue us in as we were “muggles” they were happy to share what they were doing.  We learned even more!



Daily Admission to Nelson Pioneer Farm is $7 for adults and students ages 5-12 are $2.  Memberships are available.  The farm hosts many events throughout the year, such as threshing, dancing, and various festivals.  Check out the web-site for more information—click here.

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