I love visiting farms (and Farmers’ Markets) and am always amazed by the love and dedication that people put into growing my food. My children still get excited about seeing animals and often make requests for us to bring a few home. Though farm animals are not part of our future, gardening is. Our small garden grows enough to sample fresh grown goodies so we have to supplement.
Our trip to the Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum in Peru was not only an educational experience but filled with activity and, of course, animals. My daughter took frequent trips to visit the hens, horses and miniature donkeys while my son examined the farm equipment, attempting to discover for himself what the equipment was used for.
The Babbie Museum’s focus is providing a learning experience and demonstrating farm life from the early 1800s to mid 1900s though exhibits and demonstrations. I found it fascinating that a lot of farm equipment was familiar and still functional today. It seems that it was made right the first time round.
The main room is set up to resemble rooms in a farmhouse. One alcove houses all kitchen items while another holds old schoolhouse furnishings. Another section shows various washing machines, ice cream makers and freezer chests where my kids spend some time wringing out the wash. There is even a doggie-powered butter churner. The various sections are very hands on and our docent eagerly engages us in the various activities.
The next room is a huge barn with numerous stagecoaches and horse-drawn sleighs. There is even a “Little Farmer” section with crafts, toy farmhouse and animals rockers for the youngsters. Each corner of the barn displays specialized farm tools organized by era from such simple items as ice tongs to a complex potato sorter. We continue our tour outside and learn how to make cedar shingles.
The museum has all ready held their plow and planting weekend this year, but there will be other farm days such as woodworking and harvest weekends. The Babbie Rural and Farm Museum, located at 250 River Road in Peru, hopes to allow everyone to take a walk through farm life and stay for a while.
All photos are © and used with the permission of Diane Chase. author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™.