Friday, September 18, 2009

Bringing the past alive at Pomeroy Farms

Every so often, when especially stressed out by the rigors of modern living Mr. Stang expresses a desire to return to simpler times.  Back when people rose at dawn, worked their ass off all day growing their own food, and fought insomnia the old fashioned way - with bone numbing exhaustion instead of little white pills.

When he does I like to remind him that while life may have been simpler (living on the edge of survival has a way of doing that), it was certainly a lot harder when there wasn't a Safeway around the block.  Thinking it well about time to teach MickeyD this little lesson as well, I dragged them both to Pomeroy Living History Farm outside Yacolt two weeks ago to see how a family in SW Washington would have made a living in 1920.  They were having an open weekend where volunteers (including lots of the famly) dress up in period outfits and demonstrate old fashioned domestic skills.

MickeyD got to churn butter, feed the goats (alas, no nanny goats, so no milking), dip his own candles, see how they spun wool and made clothes/blankets, and otherwise see how his Grandma Great lived when SHE was a little girl his age.   I explained that she didn't have electricity.  So no lights, no TV.  No refrigerator!!  No hot water.  And she'd have to go OUTSIDE to go potty (who am I kidding - he'd probably like that).  Grow/harvest her own food, make her own toys.... everything!
We lucked out - it was the weekend when it was raining so much.  While we caught a break in the weather not many others made the attempt so we had the WHOLE place almost entirely to ourselves.  Including the hayride.   MickeyD was temporarily upset when they wouldn't let him try pounding his own iron in the 1000 degree blacksmith forge, but otherwise really enjoyed it.

A ton of real world, hands on education masquerading as a fun day in the country.   I highly recommend it.  MickeyD's favorite game afterwards was "What ELSE didn't they have?  Tell me ALL THE THINGS!!" He didn't believe that not only were there no cell phones, there were no PHONES at all!  Or cars (well, not many in the 20's).  That it would have taken us 2-3 days instead of 3 hours to go see his Gramma down on the Oregon Coast by horse and buggy. 

They host field trips for schoolkids during the week, and open their Pumpkin Lane hayride and family entertainment weekends in October. We've begun to go up there to get our pumpkins for Halloween  (this was 2 years ago). It's on Lucia Falls road, which is a gateway to all kinds of other recreational opportunities like  Lucia Falls, Moulton FallsLewisville ParkSunset Falls.  and Silver Star Mountain.


Carla said...

What a great way to spend the day. My kids would get a huge kick out of this. We may be in the Portland area in January and will have to take a look.

Irish Jim said...

Great Story! I really enjoy your writing style.