Chickens at the 1700s German Farm

Chickens 1700s German Farm frontier museum

I almost missed going inside the farmhouse because these funny chickens were pecking around outside. Their movements were fast almost like they were in a constant state of excitement or anxiety. I really don’t know what kind they are. Would love to have one though.

Staunton and Frontier Museum German Farm

The German Farm at the Frontier Culture Museum was full of life both in the garden and in the fields. All the displays were set to show that everything from chickens to people were going about their chores.

1700s German Farm Frontier Culture Museum

Germans were the largest group of non English speaking countries to settle in the American colonies. They came as early as the mid 1600’s. This is when my family came but I also have ancestors from Switzerland, Ireland, and England. I know more about those that came from Germany because that is my Moravian heritage.

1700s German Farm Frontier Culture Museum

You can read about my 1700’s grandmother’s voyage to the colonies HERE. Her whole family perished but she braved it out to come to the New World. Many of the homes in the local community of Old Salem are patterned from the style you see in the pictures. So this was the most familiar exhibit at the Frontier Culture Museum.

1700s German Farm Frontier Culture MuseumThis 1700s farm depicts life back in their homeland. The home stands in the Old World area of the Frontier Culture Museum and its purpose is to show how these Germans lived before coming to the New Wold. What sort of influences did they bring and how did they affect the America we know today.

1700s German Farm Frontier Culture MuseumThey came to America as farmers and artisans. They were some of the most talented people to arrive in the New World. In my area of North Carolina, Old Salem was a hub of activity in the 1700s because the German Moravians provided needed skills to a growing farming community. The Moravians had blacksmiths, gunsmiths, teachers, candle-makers, and so much more. People would come from all around to buy farm equipment and have other such items repaired.

1700's German Loom Frontier Culture MuseumMy family came from the Rhine area where the German speaking Switzerland people were fleeing the Thirty-Years War. My family came to America seeking a better life and seeking religious freedom. My grandmother of that time settled in what is known today as Bathabara, NC and is buried there. She was a very well respected member of that Moravian community.

1700s German Farm Frontier Culture Museum Staunton Virginia

1700s German Farm Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VirginiaThe German homes were not lavishly furnished but they did introduce us to some beautiful pottery pieces. The pottery is earth tones and the designs are unique. Several potters in my area of Seagrove still make this pottery today and it hugely famous. Take a look at New Salem Pottery and see what I grew up eating on and drinking from. I inherited a few priceless pieces.

1700s German Farm Frontier MuseumThey left their homeland to see more farmland in the New World and brought with them talented artisans who created the ‘Kentucky Rifle’. They designed plows for tilling the land and improved harnesses for the animals. Blacksmithing and gunsmithing are probably two of their most famous contributors. They were excellent cooks, gardeners, and gracious host. They enjoyed fellowship.

1700s German Farm Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VirginiaThere is a blessing that was taught to me as a little girl and I say it over my food to this day:

Come Lord Jesus our guest to be and bless these gifts bestowed by thee. Bless our loved ones everywhere and keep them in thy loving care. Amen

And so I’ll leave you with that bit of my heritage and pray that God will keep you in his loving care.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathleen says:

    I would have had a hard time moving past the chickens too Anna. I’ve thought for quite a long time I would like to have a few in my garden as well. These are really exotic looking. Great history lesson and wonderful to learn about your heritage.


  2. nancybond says:

    It’s a wonderful place. And I do love chickens! I’d love to have some one day, when I have a space for them. The one in the upper left photo has such pretty feathers (almost said pretty foliage…hee!). I think a few of them would be nice to have around.


  3. Janet says:

    Love those chickens!! What a great place to share with us Anna. I really like that scrolled back chair and of course the timbered house. wonderful.


  4. Your Moravian heritage is really intriguing to me. I imagine them to be similar to the Amish, but that may not be the case. I really enjoy when you write about it and your incredible grandmother. Also enjoyed seeing the pottery you grew up eating on. Fascinating and different!


  5. Beth says:

    I love the chickens, the wooden fence and buckets…..Love it all! Have a Wonderful Sunday, Beth


  6. Darla says:

    Thank you for sharing this history with us…the photos are beautiful. LOVE the black and tan chickens.


  7. What a great post, and a wonderful blog! I’m glad I followed you back after reading your funny hole punch comment at A Tired Wife. I’ll be back to enjoy your writing and photos again soon!

    I love the furnishings and buildings you’ve photographed here. Were they moved from Germany, or reproductions, or a combination of both?

    I learned the prayer a little differently – it’s one attributed to Martin Luther – Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let thy gifts to us be blessed.
    Thank you for stopping by. The buildings were moved from Germany and some of the items–like the pottery–is not all authentic. So it’s a mix of both.


  8. Fabulous pictures. It shows how life was not all that easy back then and how hard the folks had to work.We don’t know we are alive today, what with all the modern appliances etc.


  9. Another from the 1700’s Germans – branch that split off and went to Mount Pleasant, NC. If you go to the Henkelite Cemetery at the Lutheran Church, you’ll see many Hahn family markers. My family follows the line from Martin to Absalom. Absalom’s grandfather, Henry came from Germany to Pennsylvania to NC.


  10. Lynn says:

    I too am part-German. One branch of my family came to America in the early 1700s and I have traced that family line back from there.

    The Polish chickens appear to be somewhat skittish — that’s the breed. They’re pretty, though, aren’t they? If I’d known you back in June, I’d have given you one!!
    Awwww, wish I had a chicken coop and I’d take you up on it next year. I was thinking about building a chicken coop with a fenced in area for them. They need to be protected around here. Thank you though and I love that you would give me one.


  11. Tatyana says:

    Thanks Anna for this history lesson.Very interesting! I love the pottery and the furniture, too.


  12. myenglishcountrygarden says:

    Amen,Anna 😉

    Ive loved this series of posts.Really informative, lovely pictures. Thank you, darling.


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