Happy to have an appreciative audience, Wayne, the docent, continued to offer anecdotes, stories, insights, and interesting bits of information. Here are a few items that I jotted down.
In 1890, popcorn wasn’t really being grown commercially. It was grown in gardens, for family use. Raising popcorn was often a young boy’s first job on the farm. The boy raising the popcorn might sell some of it to neighbors, but there were no popcorn companies.
Corncobs where ideal for getting the fire started in the wood-burning stove.
Women often wrote of their miserable lives on the frontier. Farming could bring prosperity, but it was a hard life.
Before 1850, half of all children died before age five. (This was true in cities as well as on farms.)
As towns began to grow, creameries would start up that would collect milk or cream—but butter was the best moneymaker. Women became known for the quality of their butter. They used butter molds to identify the maker of the butter.
Great day. Lots to see and learn. Should you live in Chicagoland, or be visiting, and like a bit of history, here is a link to the Kline Creek Farm site, for further information. (And be advised, for special events, there are events for younger visitors. During the Corn Harvest, they were teaching children how to make cornhusk dolls. Plus there are a variety of farm animals to admire. It’s a great day in the country that isn’t too far from the city.)