This find is not something you do at home but it would make a really fun field trip during the summer. I say during the summer because that's when the summer adventure program is run at the American West Heritage Center in Wellsville Utah. Honestly this place was way more fun then I expected when we first set out. My kids LOVED the place and have asked daily since we left if we could go back.
Mountain Men- There is tent set up where you enter and chat with a Mountain Man. He taught us all about the different furs they caught and what they traded them for. They had some of the actual furs there in the tent so you could see what real furs looked like. They also had historic items that were used in trading. Like real 1800's playing cards, canteens, guns, and so forth. At the conclusion of the the info he shared we learned how to toss tomahawks, just like the Mountain Men did at their rendezvous
Indians- Next up was the Indian village where we entered a tepee. Inside was an "Indian" who taught us a little about the Northern Shoshone and their traditions. Along with teaching us the Indian signs for various items and animals. Fun but not as interesting to the kids as it was for adults.
Pioneer Living- This was set up just as life was during pioneer times. They had a dugout and a little log cabin. My boys helped weave a rug, attempted to crochet, helped make butter, helped make cookies, made popcorn, fetched water, gathered wood and helped with the fire, washed dishes, and so many other little things the pioneers did back then. After about 45 minutes of hard labor they got to tour the dugout and learn how they caught mice and was shown how snakes sometimes shared the dugout with pioneers. Then a short tour of the one room log cabin followed by some pioneer games including tug of war.
Next up we hit the pony rides and the train ride. Both were huge hits with the kids. We stopped at the wood working place and they kids played around with kid toys and the adults got to help cut two dove tails for a chest they were making. I kicked Don's butt at this.
The final destination was the 1917 farm. The tour of the farmhouse was boring for the kids, until they saw the upstairs, but I loved it. The hit here was the outside area. My kids did several loads of laundry in the old fashion way, tubs of water with a washboard and ringer then hanging up on the clothesline to dry. They spent a very long time with doing the laundry. They fed chickens and helped look for eggs. They fed the hogs and toured the outhouse. Then we stopped by and learned how to make a horseshoe and then back for more laundry.
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