At the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano, Tex., visitors soak in interesting information about pioneer life while getting a first-hand experience of what it was like.
Kathy Strobel, director of education for the museum, says, "We give historic tours, but we want to give an experience in which visitors don't even realize that they are being taught."
Located on busy 15th Street, the nineteenth century farmhouse-turned-museum sits frozen in time.
Formerly owned by the wealthy Farrell family, the Victorian house now allows visitors to get a glimpse of what life was like in the past.
Each room is decorated with photos and household items from the time when Hunter Farrell and Mary Alice Wilson lived in the home. Preserved period clothing is also on display.
Outside, visitors can see what took place on a nineteenth century farm and what was required to keep it running. Guests can walk into a root cellar and curing shed as well as see how livestock were kept. There is even an animatronic cow so that children can learn how cows were milked.
In the livestock area, the museum has recently acquired two new residents - piglets named Hamlet and Wilson. Both pigs happily greet visitors and their exhibit helps the museum educate guests on the subject of pig farming.
Also outside is a vegetable garden tended by volunteers. According to Ms. Strobel, volunteers can take home their choice of produce from the garden. Children can also learn how to take care of crops by attending one of the summer camps offered by the museum. Participation in these events has grown substantially in recent years.
Pioneer camps are offered on the 4.5-acre black-land prairie region property.
Ms. Strobel says, "I want to bring people to Plano. I am so proud of my Plano community, and this is a rare gem."
More information can be found by visiting heritagefarmstead.org.
For video, click here.