This past week we spent a few hours at the Oliver H. Kelley farm near Elk River, Minnesota:
This Minnesota Historical Society site is a working 1860s farm. Costumed farmers dress as they would have in that time period, and crops and livestock are raised as it was done in the 19th century. This is a great “hands on” place for kids to visit. Visitors are encouraged to jump in and pitch hay, pull weeds, work alongside the women cooking in the kitchen, and even help in the fields or feed the animals (when the farmers give the okay).
I had heard that this historic farm was a fun field trip from friends who had visited before (and it’s only about a 45 minute drive from our house!). What I didn’t know until our visit was that Oliver H. Kelley was a person of historical significance. Besides being the original owner of this farm, Mr. Kelley was the founder of a farming organization called the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, or “Grange” as it is commonly known. The Grange is a fraternal organization for farmers that is still in existence today. Grange causes over the years have included regulation of railroads and grain warehouses, rural free mail delivery, temperance, direct election of senators and women’s suffrage.
Linking up to Fantastic Foto Field Trips!