Monday, July 5, 2010

Who Is Cutting The Grass In The 19th Century?

Pioneer Farmstead
As it turns out, hardly anyone.

Recently we were sent a comment regarding the upkeep around some of the village properties that we thought deserved a detailed explanation regarding our vision for the grounds of the museum.

This year, in order to provide a more accurate and educational representation of 19th century life, we have altered the way in which the grounds are taken care of around many of the village buildings.

The pioneer farmstead has the least manicured lawn, in fact, it is interpreted to have a yard rather than a lawn as a pioneer would not typically have "planted" anything like lawn and would not have had the time or the inclination to cut, weed and water it.

Field For Haying

The space between the Pioneer Farmstead and Kieffer's Place has been left uncut deliberately as we will be haying this for our animals, as would have been done in the 19th century.

The Jones Farm has a more of a lawn would have been part of a more established farm. Even though the grass has been cut more than at the Pioneer Farmstead, you might see growth around fences as a 19th century farmer would still have been very busy and not likely to do yardwork as we do today.

Jones Farm Fence Post
Contrast this with the manicured lawns & gardens of The Hyde House, The Hamilton House and The Livingston-Backus House and you can see the difference in styles of gardens at the time as well as the difference that money and leisure time have on upkeep of grounds and gardens.

Formal Garden At Livingston-Backus
We hope that this change in direction is one that provides yet another layer of understanding of 19th century life for our visitors.

1 comment:

  1. How interesting! I think it's great that the museum/village puts so much thought into the smallest details to give us such a true representation of the time period!