Thursday, June 19, 2014

Slate Run Historical Farm

Slate Run Living Historical Farm is one of my favorite Columbus Metro Parks! It's actually the first Metro Park Kenneth and I ever visited. We drove up one afternoon from Athens when we were still students at Ohio University. On that visit we were able to watch horse powered grain threshing. 

On other visits we've played with toys from the 1880s and sampled homemade iced teas, root beer, switchel and other beverages from the 1800s. On our most recent visit we visited baby animals (including adorable ducklings) and I found four four-leaf clovers! Going to Slate Run feels like stepping back in time. The farm and household are set-up the way they would have been in the 1880s. Staff and volunteers dress in 1880s style clothing and go about their day doing chores in the 1856 farmhouse, garden and barns.

I always take a ton of photos when we visit! Visiting the farmhouse reminds me a lot of the Johnston Farm House in Piqua (read about the 2013 Piqua Heritage Festival here). The living room, parlor and kitchen are open to visitors and are full of pieces of history. The farmhouse itself is permeated with that familiar old book smell (a mixture of sweet grass and vanilla). The way the farmhouse is decorated is so unlike the way we decorate our homes today. Intricate patterns are everywhere - on the wallpaper, the rug and the couch. A small crib sits next to a piano in the living room. Very few pictures or paintings are on the walls. I'd like to spend more time in the house, just soaking up the feeling of life paused in the late 1800s. 

Outside we always visit the summer kitchen, this is where the old fashioned beverages were served on a previous visit. There are usually towels and linens hanging on the clothesline just outside of the summer kitchen, making it seem like we've dropped in on our 1880s neighbors in the middle of laundry day. A small shed near the house is used to store canned heirloom fruit and vegetables. Across from it is a small smokehouse. 

Kenneth's favorite part of Slate Run is visiting the farm. Living onsite are heritage animal breeds including Merino sheep, Percheron draft horses and Poland China hogs. There are also cows, chickens, ducks, turkey and geese. I love the little fuzzy ducklings!

Programs at Slate Run offer opportunities for families to help with farm chores like shearing sheep and collecting sap from maple trees to make syrup. Staff also host a canning workshop and show visitors how the fruit and vegetables grown on the farm are canned, preserved and pickled for easier storage.

Click here for a full list of programs offered at Slate Run Living Historical Farm this summer and check out the rest of my photos below!