Posted Friday, October 21st, 2016
This holiday, take a step back in time to simpler place, and discover the customs and festivities of a 1900s Thanksgiving celebration at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris Township.
On Sunday, Nov. 13, from 12 noon to 4 p.m., experience first-hand Thanksgiving preparations at the farmhouse, assist with seasonal farm chores, tour the Willows and speak with historical reenactors, and attend a special Armistice program to commemorate U.S. veterans at 1 p.m.
By November, most of the harvest has been gathered, but there is still so much to do and see. Pitch in with autumn chores: help farmers shock corn in the field, shell dried corn for the animals, and assist the with a gasoline engine demo. Saw the wood, which is needed for winter heating and cooking, and rake falling leaves at the cottage. Crank the cider press, and watch the apple juice flow!
Meet the resident farm animals; the cows, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, and turkeys, and watch a cow being milked. During “Talk Turkey,” learn about the handsome tom turkey and the hen turkey. In recognition of local clubs that held annual Thanksgiving hunts during the time period, watch a sidesaddle riding demonstration. And don’t forget to, board the open-air wagon for a memorable ride around the farm.
What is Thanksgiving without a fine dinner with all the trimmings? At the farmhouse, roll up your sleeves to assist with holiday preparations. Witness the wood-burning cook stove in action as the cooks perform their magic in the kitchen.
“Since Nov. 11, 1919, Armistice Day, later named Veterans Day, has honored the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces,” explained Mark Sutherland, Manager of Historic Sites for the Morris County Park Commission.
“At 1 p.m., gather for a special program to honor our veterans. This year the focus is on women, who most often served as non-combatants, but played important roles during the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War I,” continued Sutherland.
Ladies in period attire will focus on these important contributions. After the program, tour the first floor of the Foster family home, The Willows, and speak informally with the reenactors.
Special activities continue at the Visitors Center. Interact with this season’s exhibit “Food for Thought,” which highlights the history of foods past and present. Stop at the auditorium to enjoy a family-friendly craft. A “must-see” is the hands-on Transportation Exhibit where Miss Foster’s 1922 Model T Ford and 1929 Hupmobile are on display, along with a carriage and truck visitors may “ride.”
Admission is $8 per adult, $7 per senior (65+), $6 per child age 4 to 16, and $4 per child age 2 and 3. FREE for children under age 2. Friends members are half price with a current membership card. Current military personnel and veterans are admitted FREE for this event.
For more information and directions to Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris Township, visit, morrisparks.net, or call 973.326.7645.