1850’s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum Staunton Virginia

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum

By 1850, the Mid-Atlantic states were well connected with roads and transportation being easily accessible. Farmers could trade their goods with states to the north and south. Most farmers grew wheat and tobacco which were in high demand.

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum

Crafting was still going on but not so much a necessity any more. Travel and trade allowed some people to become specialized in their area of expertise. Early settlers had to know how to provide for every need in life. The 1850 farmers and homeowners could share and make money from the goods they chose to trade or sell.

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum

Newspapers and books were more readily available. Most families were now embracing the new culture and abandoning homeland practices. Families had married outside their culture and a new American way of life was being integrated.

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum

Around this time, good farming practices became constant. Guano was used to fertilize the soil and crop rotation was common. Machinery took over a landscape once trodden by horses and oxen. Agriculture societies set about educating farmers by supplying pamphlets and material on better soil management.

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum

The large cooking fireplace was replaced with a cast iron cook stove much to the delight of the housewife. Canned and processed foods made an appearance and along came the prepackaged medicines. Grooming products began to make life sweeter.

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum

When the big rush of settlers went west, many were Virginians who knew how to break the land and carried that pioneer spirit that tamed the West. Then gold was discovered in 1849 which drove men to leave their families and search for easier financial futures.

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Museum Staunton Virginia

Families would follow when the money started coming in—-but for some the money never came and all fell to ruin. Some men passed their lives quietly in California as their family maintained as best they could the farms back East.

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum Staunton Virginia

Families who chose to continue farming in the East would spend most of their extra income on buying new land and expanding the farm. 23% of the population in Virginia were slaves. Slave freedom would not be seen until the mid 1860’s. This region would see the war between the states in just 10 years.

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum Staunton Virginia

When the Civil War arrived, many of the farms were looted and robbed of their surplus so the troops could be fed. Some of the farms became battlefields and others would see their men go off to fight and never return.

1850s Farmhouse Frontier Culture Museum Staunton Virginia

Many of these beautiful farms still stand today and one of them is reconstructed at The Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton Virginia. The pictures today are from my recent visit to the area.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m fascinated by the architecture. I didn’t realize what I thought was trim is actually part of the buildings. Is it stucco between angled 4 x 4’s?

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    1. Krista Sanders says:

      The boards are actually almost whole trees that have the bark and knot-holes shaved off of them and then it’s chinking in between each one. they are angled at the ends so they sit tightly at the ends. http://www.ehow.com/how_5034040_chink-log-cabin This is a link to see how the chinking was made and put in. If you are close to Nelsonville, Ohio next summer, stop by Robbin’s Crossing at Hocking College! We do “Living History” there and usually there is a carpenter to demonstrate how to make the logs.

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  2. It’s so gratifying to see pieces of history preserved in such a manner as this. I hope that the museum gets a lot of visitors. Blog posts like this really must help them, Anna. Thank you for sharing a peek inside history.

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  3. Mary Delle says:

    I love visiting old places like that and learning the history. It makes me feel like I can transport back into that time. Great post!

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  4. Anita says:

    Anna, I visited Staunton 4 years ago and you have done a fabulous job in capturing the beauty of the town. The old homes in the Beverley area are amazing and impressive – thanks for sharing and bringing back many fond memories.

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  5. Darla says:

    I agree with everyone else…these photos are very nice. I love how you have added a little tidbit of info with every photo, makes for a nice/easy read Anna.

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  6. Phillip (UK) says:

    What a fascinating post – many thanks.

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  7. Beth says:

    Oh how I love these pictures……thank you!!!

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  8. Keewee says:

    I love to see these wonderful pictures of a bygone era. Thank you for sharing them with us.

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  9. Rebecca says:

    Anna, your photos are lovely, but I especially love the one of the window, with the pumpkin and the straw hat. It is a hauntingly beautiful picture.

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  10. April says:

    Wow….what a very neat place! Lets you get a clear picture of what it was like to live during that time.

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  11. Lynn says:

    Being a quilter, I was drawn in with the photograph of the Friendship Album quilt.

    Isn’t it fun to travel Route 11 and imagine life in the mid 1800s?

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  12. Janet says:

    Nice tour. So many things to see in Staunton!

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  13. Charlotte says:

    Really interesting and thanks for posting!

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