Posts Tagged ‘living history’

Volunteers needed in Will County’s Heritage Village

March 28th, 2014

Received via email:

Would you like to know how it feels to a be a Pioneer? Dress in a Pioneers Costume? Meet new people? Volunteers needed at the Will County Historical Society’s Heritage Village, in Lockport,Il

Our goal is to keep the Heritage Village open one weekend a month during the summer. It will take at least three volunteers to keep the buildings open & show people around.

We are looking for families or groups that would like to volunteer together. Children could play on the grounds with traditional toys, play games or just walk around in costume. Adults would monitor visitors to the school house, depot, farm house and calaboose.   Home school families could set up in the school house, sit at the desks and fell what it was like to learn in a one room school house atmosphere.

Costumes would be provided, but costumes are not mandatory.

Hours served will count toward community service hours for high-schoolers. Miles driven to the Village would be tax deductible.

If you , your family, or group would like to volunteer at the Heritage Village, please contact Sandy Vasko at 815-341-0226.

Jump into the Civil War in Rockford

January 24th, 2013

Civil War Hands-On History

Midway Village Museum – Rockford, IL- History Museum

April 30, May 1, 2 and 3, 2013
9:30 am – 2 pm each day

This award-winning educational event is specially designed to meet the curriculum standards for students in grades 5th through 8th. Midway Village Museum’s campus makes this an exceptional field trip destination with more than 25 historic buildings and from 40 to 50 different living history sites offered each day. Groups will visit the sites that they choose.

The program is open to public, private or home schools from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. In 2012, approximately 5,000 students participated in this program, but space is limited and advance registration is required.

Examples of sites that students can visit:

  • Meet famous people – President & Mrs. Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, General U. S. Grant and many others
  • Experience being a soldier, including marching and drilling
  • Learn how to operate Civil War era artillery
  • Talk to soldiers from both the North and the South
  • Learn about lady’s fashion of the 1860s
  • Square dance in a barn hayloft
  • Sing along to popular music of the times
  • Visit the 1850s Barn to learn about the Underground Railroad
  • Experience school lessons in a one room schoolhouse
  • Learn about the art of blacksmithing
  • Learn the early rules of base ball and how the sport became popular because of the war
  • Meet lady spies for both the North and the South
  • Learn about Civil War doctors and medicine
  • Meet women soldiers
  • Learn about Civil War era photography
  • Show your knowledge of the times by playing Civil War Jeopardy

Cost is $7 per student and $1 per adult chaperone.

Download our reservation form for the Civil War Hands-on History Program in PDF format »

For registration information, contact Jessica MacDonald, Special Events Coordinator at 815 397-9112, ext. 104 or

For all the details and to register, check out the Midway Village’s website.

If you are unable to make this event, you might still be interested in some of the other opportunities for homeschoolers in particular to enjoy the museum.

Blacksmith available for demonstrations

March 11th, 2012

Received this via email:

Steven Helis, Blacksmith

Are you looking for a knowledgeable Demonstrator of the Art of Blacksmithing?

Look no further!

Steven Helis has been practicing the craft for 30 years. He has participated in historical reenactments, living history demonstrations and served as the Blacksmith for the Will County Historical Society’s Pioneer Settlement.

He is well versed in the history of Blacksmithing from ancient times to the modern age. His skill level is sufficient to demonstrate the various aspects of forging iron into useful implements, tools and works of art. He can show how his abilities come together by giving a live exhibition using his portable forge, anvil & tools. He also has examples of things made by blacksmiths. His fees vary on travel time and references are available on request.

If you or your organization would like to have a live presentation on the History & Art of Blacksmithing please contact him at his email address, or Pager # 815-241-5497.

You can also enjoy his demonstration as part of the Pilcher Park Nature Center’s annual Pioneer Fest & Pancake Breakfast on March 24- 25th.

Wanted: Archeologists, no experience necessary

August 28th, 2011

Their blurb:

A new year of archaeological excavation begins at Garfield Farm Museum. Directed by Jim Yingst, volunteers are encouraged to sign up to help dig, screen, and wash artifacts. Check the website for dates. No experience necessary, we will train you. Financial contributions are also welcomed.

My 10 year old is chomping at the bit about this one. I hope we can find time to get out and get our hands dirty in a real life archeological dig. Older teens can be dropped off (or drive themselves), but other kids are welcome with an adult if they will be a help and not distraction to the work. You do need to register in advance.

I just called for some more information, and they want each volunteer to commit to at least 8 hours of work to compensate for the initial training and learning curve. These do not all need to be at one time, but need to be done during dig hours of 8-5 Wednesday through Sunday. The dates for the dig are September 21-25, and September 28-October 2.

Looking at the video it says they are trying to track down the original cabin built on the site that was later replaced by the current home structure.

When: September 21-25 and September 28- October 2, 8am- 5pm — contact them for specifics on times and to arrange a time for your family/group to participate

Where: Garfield Farm Museum –on Garfield Road just north of Illinois Route 38 between Geneva and Elburn, Illinois. It is about 3 miles west of Randall Road, which is at the west edge of Geneva and St. Charles. From Illinois Route 38 turn north on Garfield Road and go about 1/4 mile to the Garfield Farm and Inn.

Putting this address into your GPS should get you there: 3N016 Garfield Road Campton Hills, IL 60175

More Information: 630 584-8485 or

In preparation for the dig I would recommend a book (or internet search) on the topic to help the kids know what they are getting into. A book that we enjoyed a few years back and will probably reread again now is Archaeologists Dig for Clues. Written for early elementary kids this book will give a look into archeological terminology and methods.

Google Analytics integration offered by Wordpress Google Analytics Plugin