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sign: Living History Farms

The two RV Gypsies and a friend visited
Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa

May 29, 2012
Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa, tells the amazing story of how Iowans transformed the fertile prairies of the Midwest into the most productive farmland in the world. While at the 500-acre open-air museum, the two RV Gypsies walked at their own pace through five historical time periods spanning 300 years. On-site interpreters provided a unique learning environment of seasonal activities and demonstrations. Living History Farms is an interactive outdoor museum which educates, entertains and connects people of all ages to Midwestern rural life experiences. 1900 Horse-Powered Farm 1875 Town of Walnut Hill
The two RV Gypsies, Karen and Lee Duquette at Living History Farms in Urbandale Iowa with their friend Phyllis Faulkner, who lives nearby in Iowa.
Lee Duquette & Phyllis at the entry to Living History Farms
Karen Duquette & Phyllis at the entry to Living History Farms
clipart - Love It!
The two RV Gypsies having fun at Living History Farms in Urbandale Iowa
The two RV Gypsies having fun at Living History Farms in Urbandale Iowa
Sign - Welcome to 300 years of farming history
map of Living  History Farms
Introduction to 1875 Town of Walnut Hill

History bookThe town of Walnut Hill represents a post-Civil War community in the Iowa farm belt. The major interpretive theme of the town is the interdependence between farmers and the craftsmen and merchants of the town. The 1875 town of Walnut Hill is a supply center for the farmers in the surrounding area.

In Walnut Hill, several craftsmen have opened shops: Matthias' Blacksmith Shop, Beem's Broommaker, and Schuetzen's Cabinetmaker which also serves as the village undertaker through his role in the construction of wooden caskets. Greteman Brothers General Store is stocked with many reproductions of 1875 items and has a large inventory of small items for sale. The town also includes the Walnut Hill School, Dr. Armstrong's Office, Taylor's Law Office, Heck Vet Clinic, Walnut Hill Bank, The Advocate Newspaper, Mrs. Elliott's Millinery, Schafer Drug Store, The Church of the Land, New Hope Cemetery, Tangen Implement Warehouse and the Tangen Family Home.

Inside Walnut Hill Bank
Inside Walnut Hill Bank
Inside Walnut Hill Bank
Schafer Drug Store
An Old desk
Schafer Drug Store
An Old desk
The Italianate Victorian Flynn House and adjoining Flynn Barn were built in 1870. Both structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Italianate Victorian Flynn House
Flynn Barn
Phyllis and Lee approached Taylor's Law Office
The Church of the Land
Taylor's Law Office
The Church of the Land
To get to other areas of Living History Farms, Karen, Lee, and Phyllis got in a cart that was towed by a tractor, went under the main road, and got quite dusty.
The tractor ride
ready to go under the road in a small tunnel
The tractor driver
1700 Ioway Indian Farm
History bookThe farming techniques practiced by the Ioway Indians in 1700 pre-dated written history and varied somewhat from European methods. Ioway farmers raised corn, beans and squash. Women did the farming in the Ioway culture while men were responsible for hunting and making tools. Ioway families were subsistence farmers, raising just enough for their family to survive throughout the year and having a little put away in case of a bad year.

Ioway Indians had separate summer, winter and traveling lodges. Bark houses called náhachi kept the Ioway cool during hot summer months, while winter mat-houses called chákirutha, made from layers of sewn cattail leaves, protected the Ioway from harsh winters and stayed around 50 degrees inside. While traveling on hunting expeditions, the Ioway lived in a chibóthraje, or tipi made from buffalo hides. Their villages also contained sweat lodges, food-drying racks, cooking areas, work areas, hide-scraping racks, pottery pits, and gardens.

sign about the 1700 Ioway Indian Farm
sign about Jerusale artichoke
this is where they hung the corn to dry
 
where they hung the corn to dry
wooden structure
Phyllis Faulkner and Lee Duquette
checked out the Winter House at 1700 Ioway Indian Farm
the Winter House at 1700 Ioway Indian Farm
Phyllis Faulkner and Lee Duquette
Lee peeked through the opening in the hut and Karen went around the side to photograph Lee peeking through the opening of the hut (what a perfect butt shot).
Lee Duquette's butt shot
Lee Duquette peaking through the opening
Outdoor kitchen
 
Outdoor kitchen at 1700 Ioway Indian Farm
Signs explaining the wild plants and their uses.
swamp mikweed sign
Butterfly weed sign
stinging nettle sign
Indian Grass sign
1850 Pioneer Farm at Living History Farms
sign about the 1850 Pioneer Far at Living History Farms
cows
cows
The split rail fence, wheat field, rooting pigs and log house represent a four-year-old farm, established when Iowa became a state in 1846. The farm site is in transition between subsistence agriculture (producing enough for the family to survive) and becoming a profit-making farm. Most farms in 1850 averaged 160 acres in size, with farmers cultivating anywhere from 25 to 40 acres. Corn, wheat and potatoes were the three major crops in 1850. Most farmers used their corn crop to feed the pigs that were then sold for profit. Wheat and hogs were cash crops for farmers, and potatoes were a staple with nearly every meal and lasted throughout the winter.
pigs
pigs

Lee Duquette approached the
1850 Pioneer Farm log cabin

Wheat field at the 1850 Pioneer Farm
Lee Duquette approaching the 1850 Pioneer Farm log cabin
Wheat field at the 1850 Pioneer Farm
Until pioneer families earned enough money to purchase modern 1850 technology, they relied on older farming methods. For example, women prepared food over an open fire even though wood-burning cookstoves were available. The majority of people who settled in Iowa in the 1840s and 1850s came from the Eastern United States, and were eager to build a multi-room dwelling like they had lived in before coming west. Log houses were temporary structures that the pioneers improved or replaced once the farm was established.
tabacco leaves drying
Lee and Phyllis checking eveything out
corn drying
Behind the 1850 Pioneer Farm log cabin
Behind the 1850 Pioneer Farm log cabin
Behind the 1850 Pioneer Farm log cabin
The two RV Gypsies and Phyllis continued their journey on the Miller Nature Trail to reach the 1900 Farm at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa
sign about the 1900 Horse Powered Farm at Living History Farms
Lee Duquette on the Miller Nture Trail
a creek
a creek
Lee Duquette on a small bridge
a creek
There were big trees along the Miller Nature Trail that captured the attention of the two RV Gypsies. The photos below only show part of the trees, of course.
a big tree
Looking up at a tree with its limbs flowing in many directions, forming a nice pattern in the sky.
This tree looks like a Halloween tree
with spiny fingers
nice pattern in the tree
Halloween tree
Lee Duquette and a horse
4 horses
horses
an old telephone
an old piano
laughing clipart figureWhat the ?? Oh, it's Lee Duquette growing a feather beard.
Lee Duquette growing a feather beard
The Convention Center, offices,
and meeting rooms available to rent
The Iowa State Flag and the U.S.A. Flag
Convention Center
The Iowa State Flag and the U.S.A. flag
laughing clip art figureCould this be the first version
of our modern day ZIP LINES?
Lee Duquette wearing
one of the colonial hats

zip line


Lee Duquette wearing one of the colonial hats
 

history book Many signs throughout the Living History Farms tell part of the history of Iowa

900-1000 AD - corn first planted in Iowa
1676 Ioway Indians begin trading with French
1836 Iowa territory open for settlement
1846 Iowa becomes a state
1854 first railroad line comes in Iowa
sign about corn
Iowa is the argest produce r of corn and soybeans
bye bye!
The two RV Gypsies and Phyllis ate at the restaurant in front of Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa, and were very pleased with the lunch served. The server was polite, the food was plentiful, and the sandwiches were excellent.
Look Below
Below are more sections of the adventures of the two RV Gypsies in Iowa. You may view them in any order you wish. the page you are on has been grayed out.
Des Moines Botanical Center
Center Street Bridge Walk
John and Mary PappaJohn
Sculpture Park
Adventureland Amusement Park
Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa
The Buddy Holly Plane Crash Memorial
Central Gardens of North Iowa
Clear Lake, Iowa
Fort Custer MAZE in Clear Lake, Iowa
Look Below

AFTER you have viewed all 9 sections above, please continue on to the adventures of the two RV Gypsies in Minnesota: The Jolly Green Giant and Redwood Falls