Courageous Travels: Living History Farms

Day 1 |

Day 1

Hello Courageous Travelers!
Today was a hot one, but a group of travelers still had a blast on their trip to Living History Farms in Urbandale, IA! The day started in the early morning with the Travel Team meeting volunteers Charlotte G., Ali M., and Rosa O. at the nursing office. Rolo and Charlotte G. got in Henry and headed south toward Walcott, IA to meet travelers Capricia B., Terry H., Deb K., LeAnn R. and Harrison R. Back at camp, Melissa and the other volunteers meet travelers Chelsea H., Sarah O. and Allan F. before driving down to Marion, IA in Emmy. In Marion, we picked up excited travelers Kevin B., Aaron S., Adam Y., Terry Y. and Sue R. Everyone was given a granola bar as a snack while we traveled to Coralville, IA to meet our final volunteer, Maggie D., and our final traveler, Kata G. Also in Coralville, the two buses met and Rolo took Emmy and all the travelers towards Living History Farms while Melissa took an empty Henry back to camp.
We arrived at Living History Farms at 10 am and we split into our respective groups to explore this massive museum where the displays didn’t have glass, instead they were real people and buildings. Living History Farms is an interactive outdoor history museum which educates, entertains and connects people of all ages to Midwestern rural life experiences.There were many different buildings from a rural 1870s town, Walnut Hill, that the travelers were able to enter and explore; a barn, drug store, church, bank, printing press, a house, doctor’s office, and a one-room schoolhouse. Kevin B. and Sue R. both said that they really enjoyed being able to go into each building and learning all the interesting facts about the past. There were even people in costume in most of the exhibits that were performing the tasks that would have been done in the past. They answered all of the different questions that our travelers had, and Allan F. enjoyed listening to and learning from all of the different museum volunteers. Harrison R. was very intrigued with the blacksmith and asked a lot of in-depth questions because he too enjoys that work. We were even given some demonstrations on how to make different items in the blacksmith shop.
We ate lunch at the Summer Kitchen Snack Shop, and we had a picnic together where all the travelers were talking about what they had already seen and what they were looking forward to. Chelsea H. was talking about how much she liked seeing the barn and Capricia B. was excited about how she had seen a cat by the barn as well. Rolo surprised everyone with an ice cream treat for dessert since it was so hot out, which Sarah O. claimed that the surprise ice cream was one of the highlights of her day.
After lunch, we were invited to join in on their Decoration Day parade where all the travelers help different flowers with townspeople and other visitors as we marched through the town towards the church and the graveyard. Decoration Day is set aside to remember the people who have passed away from wars by decorating their tombstones with flowers. The mayor of Walnut Hill gave a speech, that was actually written and addressed back in the 1880s after the Civil War, and recognized that over 75,000 young men from Iowa went to help in the Civil War and over 3,000 men from Iowa gave their life for this country. Decoration Day continued with a 1875-rules baseball game. The Walnut Hill Bluestockings played against the (red team) in America’s greatest pastime, which included Gentleman’s rules: no mitts allowed, the batter (“striker”) gets to call the pitch, and no cussin’ or spittin’. Terry Y. had a great time watching the game and kept cheering on the teams whenever they would get a homerun, which happened quite a bit for the (red team). The umpire would give us different facts about baseball in Iowa’s past while he was officiating the game, and one of those fun facts included our very own Monticello, IA. Apparently the town once banned baseball from being played in the streets because of different broken window on 1st street, interesting facts.
The other part of Living History Farms that some of our travelers got to see were farm through the ages. There are three working farm sites: the 1700 Ioway Farm, 1850 Pioneer Farm, and 1900 Horse-Powered Farm. Our travelers loved being able to “travel” through time and explore all the different eras. Terry H., Kata G. and Adam Y. were all super joyous when they saw some horses and Kata could not stop talking about how amazing they were. Deb K. was quite fond of seeing the farm houses and liked to look inside of them to see how different they are from today. Before leaving the museum, all of our travelers took some time looking through the gift shop to find some nifty souvenirs so that they could remember their time at Living History Farms. When asked what his favorite part of the day was, Aaron S. said that he loved everything so much that he could not pick just one activity.
We said goodbye to volunteer Rosa O. and then we left Living History Farms and shortly traveled down the road to the Machine Shed for dinner. The travelers enjoyed getting different home style meals with all the fixin’s. After a satisfying meal, we loaded up the bus and started our way back to eastern Iowa. Our first stop was Coralville, IA where we said goodbye to travelers Capricia B., Terry H., Deb K., LeAnn R., Harrison R. and Kata G. We also said goodbye to volunteer Maggie D. We then headed up to Marion, IA for our second dropoff and said goodbye to travelers Sue R., Terry Y., Kevin B., Aaron S. and Adam Y. We then traveled back to camp where we said our last goodbyes to travelers Chelsea H., Sarah O. and Allan F.
We would like to thank all of our travelers and volunteers for such a wonderful trip to Living History Farms!
The Travel Team