Experience a Slice of 19th-century Farm Life at Farm Heritage Day

GHS TitleOn Saturday, August 9, the Geneva Historical Society will hold the third biennial Farm Heritage Day at Johnston House at 3523 East Lake Road in Fayette. This event will give visitors, particularly families, the chance to sample 19th-century farm life through games, period crafts and farming activities, presentations, and exhibits. The activities will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Programming at Farm Heritage Day will reflect life and work on the Johnston family’s farm in the 1800s. Hands-on activities will help visitors connect to the past—learning about the region’s history while having fun. Planned activities include: operating an antique cornsheller, fanning wheat with an antique wheat fanner, and testing milking skills on a simulated milk cow. Throughout the day there will be activity stations or presentations on 19th-century music, spinning and housework. There will be crafts for kids and the opportunity to meet a variety of farm animals.

The Johnston House and the Weaver Drain Tile Museum will be open to visitors throughout the day. Farm Heritage Day will take place out of doors, rain or shine, on the grounds of the Johnston House. Farm Heritage Day is supported in part by the Geneva Shrine Club.

The 1822 Johnston House sits on part of what was once the Johnston family farm. Scottish immigrant John Johnston and his wife Margaret raised six daughters and two granddaughters on their Fayette farm. He successfully applied then-innovative methods on his land, including the use of tile drainage, a practice essential to modern agriculture. In addition to the restored house, the property holds an extensive collection of drain tile dating from 500 B.C. to the present, donated by soil conservationist Mike Weaver in honor of Johnston’s work with agricultural drainage.

The Johnston House is owned and operated by the Geneva Historical Society. The house is located at 3523 East Lake Road, at the junction of Route 96A near Geneva. For more information about Farm Heritage Day, call the Geneva Historical Society at 315-789-5151 or visit our website www.genevahistoricalsociety.com.