Hardin County Farm Museum

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Hardin County Farm Museum is a little different than most museums I have visited because it holds a lot of good memories. My family and I have attended pancake breakfasts and political events there, and often went to their annual Threshing Day. The photos in this post are from August 2016, when Charity, Yai and I attended Threshing Day.
Back in the good old days, Papa would often play chess with a local man, Gary. We children enjoyed a coin scramble, and plenty of good, old-fashioned games like corn hole, a canning ring toss, and trying to drop clothespins in an apple juice jar.

There were also giant bubble-blowers. But the spelling bee was something I really looked forward to. I must have been in 7th grade or so.
All of the children lined up along the walls of the schoolhouse inside. I was one of the eldest, since the bee was only for children up to 8th grade. The words leading up to me didn't seem too bad. But then came my word, "Cologne." At the time, I'm not sure I even knew what cologne was, much less that it has a silent g. And...I was out on my first word. That's one word I've never since forgotten how to spell!
I think I'd like this teacher better! The Goose Creek School has been on the museum grounds for as long as I can remember. But one thing that's relatively new to the museum grounds is a church.
The Ellis United Methodist Church was dedicated in 1932 and disbanded and sold in 2013. It was donated to the museum, and I *think* it was moved to the grounds in 2016. When I last visited in August 2016, it was in need of repairs to the exterior, and the interior was almost completely bare. Just from driving by, it looks better now, and I saw a post on Facebook about a hymn sing there this summer, so I think it has since been renovated.
Threshing Day bears the name for a reason! Local farmers still go out to do so some threshing on the museum grounds.
On Threshing Day there is also a petting zoo of sorts with calves, chickens and kittens. Visitors have the opportunity to shell corn with a vintage corn sheller if they so desire. 
In the barn, good cooks have a meal prepared. There's a piano on the far side of the room. Unlike many pianos, this one doesn't have a sign that says "Don't touch." Instead, it has a welcoming sign that reads, "Feel Free to Entertain." Charity played a few selections when we visited in 2016, and I can remember years ago singing along to a pianist with then state representative Annette Sweeney. 

Annette Sweeney was a great representative (she even came to my graduation open house!), and I was disappointed after re-redistricting that she lost her seat to Pat Grassley. So I was very happy to see the Trump administration appointed her this November to serve as the new state director for USDA Rural Development in Iowa.
The blacksmith shop is just one of the other buildings on the grounds. The others are filled with farm implements and the like. I'm always impressed by the piece of art crafted above from wrenches.
The upstairs of the barn serves as the main museum, featuring church pews, tools, sad irons, clothes wringers, typewriters, a piano, pump organ, wheelchairs, old medicine bottles and much more.
Whether you need a horse-drawn hearse or one-horse open sleigh, this museum has it. But I love this museum best for the memories it holds.


  1. This looks like a great place to visit and sounds like it hold so many wonderful memories for you!

    1. There's something nice about visiting a place that holds good memories.

  2. What a neat little farm museum. I bet it holds lots of history. I'd like to visit that someday. Thank you for sharing about it!

  3. What a fun museum! This might sound odd, but this place looks just about bursting with "Americanness". I like the lovely sky backdrop you captured that day. :)

    1. It's about as American as things get! The sky was very pretty that day.

  4. Aww, places like this are so heart-warming for me! In Michigan we'd go to a tractor show every summer and they always had a threshing machine out and throughout the day anyone could take a turn helping out the different farmers and getting the experience of threshing. I also loved your Spelling Bee story, I would have also been excited to join a spelling bee in an old-time schoolhouse! My Dad has a story of losing a spelling bee because he didn't know about the silent l in "salmon."

    1. Sounds like you have wonderful memories from the tractor show in Michigan! Ahhh, salmon would have been a tough word to get. I definitely commiserate with your dad! I just couldn't understand how I got the word cologne! I don't think I even knew what it was at the time...