Living History Farm- Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies is just two hours away, but like so many close attractions we don't get there often enough, usually once a year or so.  As summer is wrapping up we had a bit of deadline.  See, they have the exhibit there called the Living History Farm.  This exhibit is only open Memorial Day through Labor Day though so we had to get on it if we were going to get the chance to see it again this year.  We really enjoy the farm because it appeals to our lifestyle and interests.  There is an expansive garden (both vegetable and flower) where the only seeds cultivated date back to the start of the 1900's or earlier.  The food from the garden apparely is used to make lunch for the people who help out on the Living History Farm.  The house was built in 1889 and has been restored as closely as possible to its original condition.  There is also a Native American style garden where they've inter-planted corn, squash, and beans in a traditional style.   I found this superbly interesting.  They all grow so well together--like they were made for it!  The beans climb up the corn and the squash fill in the ground between the rows.  Its like magic.  The house is usually bustling with women in period dress spinning wool which will be dyed with plants from the garden, or baking up cookies on the wood-stove.  I find is completely enthralling.  There are always new things to see and do there to.  This trip I noticed some embroidery frames hanging in the spinning/sewing room that must be for tablecloths or bed spreads.  I've never seen hoops so big!  There was even one with a piece started on it.  It was pretty impressive in size and artistry.    Last year we got to watch sheep herding dogs in action and I'm not sure I've ever been so impressed with the silent symbiotic relationship between dog and shepherd as I was then.  There is always something incredible to see on the farm.
The Tinsley House.

The vegetable garden.

We admired these simple stick teepee style supports in the garden.  Having recently done some tree trimming we have some that seem like they'd be just perfect for this purpose.  I enjoy its quaint charm as well as the let's-do-with-what-we-have mentality.  It seemed to work effectively as well.

Pretty sunflowers.

Matt "snapping" the snap dragons.

That's one heck of a cabbage!

A little snapdragon mouth.

I have no idea what these are, but they were very cool looking....

...and opened into a flower that looks like this.  I almost think they were cooler looking before they flowered.

A cider press that was just about identical to the one we get to use.  We'd never noticed it before.

Matt, super pumped about the Tinsley house root cellar.  A man coming out as we went in said "Free air conditioning down there!"  It did feel quite good on such a hot day.  Root cellars are amazing.  So simple and yet ingenious.

Beans growing up the corn in the Native American garden.

Inside a teepee.
We bought a year-long pass to the museum this year.  If we go twice we've more than made our money back.  In addition to the Living History Farm there is also more traditional museum exhibits, namely local history and dinosaur fossils, as well as the planetarium.  They also get traveling exhibits.  We saw artifacts from the life of Napoleon and we both learned a considerable deal about him and French history.   Museums are cool.   Museums with heritage gardens are even cooler.


  1. AWESOMENESS!!! Right up our alley; looks like you had a wonderful day for the adventure as well.

    1. I can see you and Scott QUITE liking the farm. We sure had a blast ourselves.

  2. Beth,
    We have a Living History Farm here, too. I went last year but never posted pictures. AND, there is an apple press also. I drank freshly squeezed apple juice and loved it. I had never had anything but commercial apple juice and hate that.

    1. Very cool. I love these sort of places. Someday I will get out to the east coast and see some of the early life there too. I hear there are great reenactments an similar establishments in New England. But, too far away for now!

      And you are right. Commercial juice has got NOTHING on fresh pressed!

  3. Your mystery flower that looked better before it bloomed? I think it is called "Nigella".

  4. What a wonderful place! I had heard of the planting you describe with beans/squash/corn - it's called Three Sisters planting because they use the space in harmony with each other.

    The flower you saw is lovely and very easy to grow. It's called Love-in-the-Mist (Nigella). What you saw are the seed heads and a late flower. When they first open they are a much deeper blue. We have lots in our garden here. If you do a Google image search on Love in the Mist you will come up with loads of pics.

    I think you would love the Weald and Downland museum near us. There are just houses there, not re-enactors - we do have re-enactors in the UK, but nothing like as many as you have - though at the end of October just along the road from us we have the re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings (1066) every year (lots of pics if you do a Google image search on Battle of Hastings re-enactment)on the field where it took place, which is at the back of Battle Abbey, built by William the Conqueror in penance (by order of the Pope) for his troops' mutilation of Harold's body. The building is still up and running, now a school (if you do a Google image search on Battle Abbey you can see it), and next door you can have lunch in the place where the people who had lunch who built it in the eleventh century ( ). Hmm. This October may be too early to plan, but why don't you and Matt save up and come for a holiday in England next October? You could stay with us and we could take you to see these places.

    Weald and Downland museum

    1. Man, if I could make that work financially I would do it in a heartbeat!!! Could I? Hmmm.... Hmmmm....its always good to have a saving goal! And I've never been to England....maybe!

      I should think I would be quite enamored with all the history and architecture.
      And the google and flicker photos make it seem like quite the thing we'd enjoy. I bet one could spend days wandering about looking at things a the Weald and Downland Museum. Thanks so much for telling me about these things. I had no idea.

  5. I really enjoy living museums. We have a few near us, Sauder Village in Archbold, OH is pleasant, my little grandsons enjoyed it immensely as they could go from building to building and there was always something new to see. We recently went to Berne, IN to the Swiss Heritage Village, another pleasant set up, they claim to have the worlds oldest, largest, still in use cider press, it is very cool. The press was hand made out of white oak, they estimated that at the time of cutting the massive beam used for to press was from a tree that was at least 350 years old. The enormous screws to raise/lower the beam are all made out of wood. Quite impressive, I took many pics as my husband is wood working man and I knew this would be his cup of tea!
    Love those flowers, the head looks like queen anne's lace before it flowers, but the flower and foliage are nothing like queen anne's lace. I agree with you they are quite something before they open, rather ethereal.

    Looks like you had a wonderful outing.


    1. Wow. I think it is official. Some time in my life I HAVE to go and see that cider press. I can't even really begin to imagine watching one of that scale! How cool that it is still in use!

      And there really is always something new to see.

      A great weekend to you and yours!

  6. They sort of look like a blue flower I've heard called Cat's Claw. The seeds in the pods look just like claws of a cat.

  7. Oh I would love to go there someday. What fun!!

    1. If you ever come up to Montana I'd highly recommend it. I'm glad we bought the pass. Now we can go even if we only have an hour whereas before we'd think twice about spending the money for such a short period of time. Its just so neat and I really do learn something new and fascinating every time.


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