We had a wonderful visit to Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth. We have been here many times but the hands-on activities and great costumed presenters make it a fun place to come back to each year.
Log Cabin Village is an interactive educational experience based in the time frame of early pioneer days of about 1840 - 1890. It is comprised of authentic log cabins from the North Texas area which were moved to this property for restoration and preservation.
Throughout the Log Cabin Village, you will find educational presentations and hands-on activities. I love blacksmithing so we went to this presentation first.
We watched as a steel rod would have been forged and shaped into a needed tool of the day.
The blacksmith would have made eating utensils, farming tools, horse shoes...
and cattle brands.
We visited the old smokehouse which was used to preserve meats for long periods of time before refrigerators were invented.
I always like the one room schoolhouse. The kids played with the bell that the teacher would ring to call all of the students at the beginning of the school day.
The teacher would have a whole room full of children of every age. The would use slate boards and horn books to practice writing. There was a stove in the middle of the room to provide heat to the building. There were no bathrooms so children would have to go outside in the snow or rain to go to the outhouse.
There was no running water so at the beginning of the day, boys would take the bucket down to the pump and fill it with water to be used for drinking and washing through out the school day.
We visited the woodworking shop in the Howard Cabin and learned about all of the tools he would have made.
He showed us how to use a lathe to turn wood to make things like bowls and chair legs.
We also learned about some of the simple toys that the wood worker could have made in the time before electronic games.
The kids were excited to learn how to use a drill press.
It is a manual drill and Rachel had a little bit of trouble with it but she kept trying until she got it.
And then they even got to use the wood lathe!
Rachel would love to make wooden furniture when she grows up so she just loved this whole experience!
They also learned how to use a plane to shave and smooth the wood.
We learned how laundry would have been done in the old days using a bucket and lots of scrubbing on a washboard.
This was an example of a pioneer room. The kids were asked to find the toaster. It doesn't look like a toaster you would have in your kitchen today. Can you find it? (Hint: it is near the fireplace and already has two pieces of bread in it ready to toast!)
We took a break to have a snack and drink some water. I love these two!
Next we visited the Seela Cabin which is the best exhibit for younger kids. There is a pretend chicken coop and Rachel loved gathering eggs from the plush chickens!
There is also a little wheelbarrow to push around and a garden to sew and harvest from. Rachel had fun using the pump to gather water.
And she manually ground coffee in the grinder and wheat in the mortar and pestle. I need to put this girl to work in the kitchen at home!
Like I said, this area is intended for the younger kids and Nicholas just hung out on a bench because he was too cool for all of that.
Inside the cabin, we looked around at some of the early tools like this punched lantern.
And we played with more wooden toys. Nicholas loved the ball and cup and kept challenging us to try to get the ball in the cup in less tries than him.
We learned about spinning wool into yarn and then how to weave it into fabric on a loom.
We learned about candle dipping and even got the chance to dip our own candles in hot wax! Each dip gathers a little more wax on the wick and then it has to hang until it hardens. Then it gets dipped again and the whole process continues until the candle is large enough to use. It was a slow process.
Next we made our way to the Shaw Cabin which houses one of the last working gristmills in Texas. As we approached, Nicholas explained to Rachel how the water wheel worked and how the gears inside the cabin turned the mill stones.
We learned about wheat and how it was ground by hand. Then we learned about how the gristmill works and how it made life so much easier for the pioneers.
We visited the herb drying shed which the kids just loved playing in. Silly kids!
No creature is too small to avoid Nicholas' eye. He found and played with this cute little guy for a while as we walked around the herb garden.
He recognized Lamb's Ear in the garden. He loves how silky soft the leaves are. You just have to touch them!
We saw The Three Sisters growing in the garden as well. Native American Indians taught the early settlers to plant using The Three Sisters system whereby three plants, corn, beans, and squash, are planted together as companions. The corn provides a stalk for the bean vines to climb on while the big prickly squash leaves shade the soil and other plants, keeping them from drying out and shielding them from some animals that may want to eat them.
Log Cabin Village is a fun excursion for all ages. It is located at 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane in Fort Worth. Admission is free for ages 3 and under, $5.00 for ages 4-17 and $5.50 for ages 18 and up. For more information, please visit the Log Cabin Village website.