A Slice of Americana Lines Up for Michigan Flywheelers’ Farm History Day

For twenty years now, Michigan school kids have been getting a slice of American history at one of the most unique museums in the state, and that tradition continues early next month right here in Michigan's Great Southwest.

The Michigan Flywheelers Museum is ready to host its 20th annual “Farm History Day” on Friday, May 10th. The event teaches students about rural farm life in the early 1900s with close to 40 hands-on activities like candle dipping and grinding corn. The event is open to all schools and homeschoolers as well as the general public, and best of all, there is no admission charge to attend.

For the past two decades, the members of the Michigan Flywheelers Museum have been donning bib overalls, long prairie dresses, and straw hats every May to show kids that there was once more to do than take selfies and play video games.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Farm History Day - a day full of hands on activities where students learn to do things like wash clothes in galvanized tubs full of suds, grind corn into meal, and twist twine into rope - just like families use to do in the past.

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The event will take place Friday, May 10th from 9 am - 2 pm.

Farm History Day will feature close to 40 exhibits and demonstrations. The museum's President Patrick Ingalls says, "We began holding Farm History Day as part of our educational goal for the museum," and adds, "There is no charge to attend because we wanted to give something back to the community for all the support they have given to us."

Besides the hands-on activities, students can stroll through Olde Town filled with places like Old Tyme Jail, Farm Machinery Repair Shop, a migrant farm camp, Peaceful Knoll Church and a log cabin. The shingle mill, blacksmith shop and sawmill will all be open and running as well.

Ingalls says, “It gets pretty busy as we usually have between 1,300 to 1,500 students during that five hour period,” and he admits, “We’re pretty beat by the end of the day, but it’s worth it to see all the smiles.”

He also noted that the event will be held rain or shine, noting, “Some years, it has rained but Farm History Day still goes on,” and says, “We move as many exhibits under cover as possible because we know a lot of planning goes into a field trip and we don’t want schools to cancel and students to be disappointed.”

If you are interested in attending Farm History Day with a large group, the museum asks that you call 269-637-5077 or email michiganflywheelers@yahoo.com.

The Michigan Flywheelers Museum is located at 06285 68th Street, two miles east of South Haven. It is open on Wednesdays and weekends from Memorial Day through the end of August, as well as for special events. Tours are given by appointment. For more information, 269-639-2010, michiganflywheelers@yahoo.com, www.michiganflywheelers.org or on Facebook.

The photo accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is courtesy of the Michigan Flywheelers Museum.