Good afternoon guys!

Since it was rainy and cold on my birthday this year and we didn’t get to go to Living History Farms as planned, we picked today to go – wheee!! Per the Living History Farms website:

We are a 500-acre, outdoor museum that recreates history and lifestyles in four time periods – the 1700 Ioway Indians, the 1850 pioneers, the townspeople of 1875 and 1900 farmers. Historical interpreters dressed in period clothing complete the daily routines of each time period – caring for animals, cooking, blacksmithing, gardening, and much more.

Basically you take a walking tour through working farms and a town, from all the 4 time periods and learn what it would have been like to actually live during that time – SO COOL!


Right when we got there, we made one of those squished pennies at the gift shop. So worthless, but so much fun :)

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Next we hopped on a tractor ride that took us over to the start of the walking tour.

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We started in the 1700’s at the Ioway Indian Camp!


This is a typical sleeping hut:


There was an animal hyde that was being scraped and tanned (I’ll spare you the pic) but those would have been used to cover the outside of these teepees!




After learning more about the Ioway’s, we hit the path – next stop: 1850’s Pioneer Farm!

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This farm was insanely cool. They had pigs, oxen, sheep & chickens:

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Oh – and “Claire” who I got to milk! I’ve never milked a cow before – it was so weird/cool!


Ben got some quality play time in with the ducks…

This is inside a typical 1850‘s farmhouse. The ladies were making fresh cornbread and it smelled sooo good…


Outside, someone was harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden!


This is the barn where they kept all the farm tools and supplies.



Homeboy getting a free ride :)


It was so quiet and peaceful here. All you could hear were the birds and the rustling grass from the wind. I LOVED it – the 1850’s rule!


Up next, the 1900’s farm!


Ben amusing himself :)


This was my favorite farm – the farmhouse and barn at this site are originals and were transported here from another farm site in Iowa!

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This is Marshal – he’s a six week old calf. Marshal must have been hungry because he kept licking my toes!

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The farmhouse:


Marshall making another appearance – he was still not used to being led around and was seriously dragging this poor guy all over the place!


Here’s Ben cooking at the stove – when we were there they were making garlic mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, steak & a strawberry-rhubarb pie OMG!

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The pantry:



One of the bedrooms in the house:


Phoning home!


I even tried a 1900’s style lawn mower…eh, it wasn’t too hard!


At this point we were starving from walking around the farms all morning, and had made it to the 1875 town, so naturally we got our grub on 1875 style…or not…we got brats!


It’s true – we stopped at a little lunch place that was by the gift shop and I got a fresh brat. Ben got a brat and pizza! Very 1875 of us, no? Ah well, it was delicious!


Ok after we refueled, we hit our final stop which was the “town” of Walnut Hill. It models a typical town in Iowa around 1875 with a population of 500. It starts at the only building that was originally on the Living History Farms land which is what the museum was built around: the Flynn Farm Mansion & Barn.



This barn is massive and is the first thing I think of, when I think of LHF!


The original owners of the mansion were very wealthy farmers. They had gas lighting, central heat and hot & cold water. UNHEARD of for a farm house in 1875!



Here is the front parlor. The house is original, but parts of it have been renovated.

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Everything that’s in the house though, is stuff you would find in a typical 1875 farmhouse!

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After we explored the mansion, we hit “Main Street”! Which had a vet clinic:


A blacksmith,


And my personal favorite – the General Store! This was like the “Walmart” of 1875 :) I got a Sasparilla and lemon drops…mmmmmmm


Next stop – the pharmacy.


This is where they would mix up all their potions including “Freckle Water” and “Teeth Charcoal” – yeah, no clue…


EW – and they had LEECHES!


There was also a one-room schoolhouse!



Ben getting his learn on:


I thought these were hilarious – “The Rules of Life” – which included, “Wisdom of Early Rising”!


We also hit up the doctor’s office

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And ended our trip at the picturesque town church. You can actually rent this place out and get married here!! I wanted to SO BAD when Ben and I were getting married, but it didn’t hold enough people…rats!


WHEW – hopefully you aren’t bored stiff!!! I just love stuff like this – living and learning history, especially Iowa history. It’s so interesting how each of the time period sites you visit have real, working farms and the people who work there wear time period clothing, actually work the farms and are SO knowledgeable about the history of that time. This was such a fun Saturday, I’m so glad I finally got to go to LHF!