Living History Farm Part II
Yesterday, I shared Part I of our trip to the Living History Farms in Urbandale, IA. I would have made it into one blog post, but the photos were starting to pile up, and it became too much to fit into just one! So here is the rest of our trip, the part where we explored the historical 1875 replica town of Walnut Hill.
We were really surprised that Walnut Hill was much larger than we were expecting. There are several stores when you first arrive, each with unique artifacts tailored to them, most in actual operation, and with shop owners who will explain the process of their business if it were run in 1875. I really enjoyed each of these! It was a bit surreal when we first approached as there were several employees walking around in period clothing as if they actually lived in this town. It honestly felt as if you had stepped back in time, if you started to block out the other tourists and just sit and gaze at the landscape, the reenactors, the storefronts. Perhaps a movie set was more like it. Jill just couldn't get over that each of the towns we have lived in over the years once started out like this. It's pretty fascinating!
I had to post this photo, one because we are going to cover the Millinery first and two because she is totally smiling at me. I didn't notice when I took it, but after zooming in, she is definitely cheesing. I think it's the cutest thing! Side note, how freaking fun would it be to be a reenactor? I've honestly considered it several times. I guess you have to join a troupe and purchase your own gear and costume, so its really just a do-it-yourself project. Even though you have to find a troupe who "performs" in the time period you want to reenact. There aren't a lot of US based Eighteenth Century (my fave) reenactors, sadly. Mostly Civil War era. Bummer.
When we first entered the Millinery, the shop owner was explaining to a young girl how to properly secure a hat with a hat pin. So cute! I love how they had the front counter set up with the hat furnishings and decor. Why don't we still wear daily hats anymore? Maybe I should start! Also, let's talk about Nineteenth Century ladies' undergarments. Swoon. Do not ask me to explain my obsession with old-fashioned underwear, because I don't even understand it myself. It just looks so romantic and cool!
Our next stop was the drug store and apothecary. I really enjoyed this shop! They had a display with mortars and pestles where you could grind various herbs. You could even purchase live leeches there, which we decided to pass on. Earlier in the day, there was a traveling medicine show, but we unfortunately missed it.
The print shop was filled with various industrial, antique machines and equipment. How cool is it that they're actually in operation? The many signs, posters, and papers around the shop were printed by the machines in the shop. What a cool way to display the kind of work an old print shop used to do!
Then we stopped in the General Store, where you could actually purchase various items like a broom, candy, wooden toys, or a pickle. It was a little crowded in there, so we ventured outside, bought a couple of Sarsaparillas being sold out front, and taught Tad how to be a Peeping Tom. Just kidding.
I think one of the coolest parts of this tour was stopping the broom shop and realizing that the brooms you can purchase in the General Store are handmade by the women working here! Like, whaaaaaat. We love anything that has to do with handmade, especially handmade by women. So we stopped and chatted with the two ladies making brooms for a bit. So fun! I wish we had wood floors that needed sweeping. Soon!!!
Tad's favorite part! The sheep. There is something really magical to me about sheep. I could definitely find myself enjoying raising a couple of my own.
Okay, I need to not blog about trips and family outings anymore because I take WAY too many photos. As I was putting this together, I was getting exhausted, but kept finding another photo I took and going, "But this one's cool, too! Ooh! This one is super interesting." And now it's just too many, but I CANNOT HELP MYSELF. I mean, what is etiquette, right? Only phonies use etiquette! Who can tell me where that reference is from? Come on out from your nooks, book nerds. Let's talking about these vignettes, though. So gorgeous. So modern, yet vintage, yet in style. I wanted to get more photos on the insides of the two display homes, but the lighting was really poor. I guess that's the one downside to living in 1875: shitty Instagram lighting. Boo.
Okay, I'm done. I am leaving. Goodbye!