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2016 Farm History Day

Woman teaching children about farm life

In its 17th year, Farm History Day at the Michigan Flywheelers Museum draws students from all over southwest Michigan who tour the museum and learn about rural farm life in the early 1900s. This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, May 6.

For the past 17 years, Michigan Flywheelers Museum volunteers have been teaching kids about life before cell phones and YouTube.

Washing clothes in galvanized tubs full of suds and washboards, grinding corn into meal, and twisting twine into rope are just a few of the things that students learn how to do during the museum's annual “Farm History Day.”

This year the tradition will continue as more than 1,500 students are expected to attend the annual event scheduled for Friday, May 6. Open to area students, parents and grandparents, the event will feature over 30 exhibits — many of them hands’ on.

“This event is a lot of fun for us because its amazing to see kids’ reactions when they find out that moms used to have to sift flour to make bread, and that lumber comes from logs that have to be cut,” said Patrick Ingalls, museum president. “They just can't figure out why someone would make butter instead of going to the store to buy it.”

Making rope, dipping candles, and playing old fashion games like Graces are just a few of the hands-on displays.

“We began holding Farm History Day as part of our educational goal for the museum,” explains Ingalls. “There is no charge to attend because we wanted to give something back to the community for all the support it has given us.”

Besides the hands-on activities, visitors will be able to stroll through Old Towne filled with places like the Farm History Building, Old Tyme Jail, Farm Machinery Repair Shop, Migrant Camp, Peaceful Knoll Church and a log cabin.

Farm History Day is open to the public as well. The museum asks that anyone attending with a large group call 269-637-5077 to make sure there is enough supplies on hand.

The Michigan Flywheelers Museum is located at 06285 68th St., South Haven, Michigan. It is open on Wednesdays and weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day, as well as for special events. Tours are given by appointment. For more information, 269-639-2010,, or Facebook.