9th annual Founders Day Celebration next Saturday

The Pioneer Farm Museum located at: 7716 Ohop Valley Road East Eatonville, WA 98328 is having their annual Founders Day Celebration Saturday, October 14, 2018 11 am to 4 pm at the Pioneer Farm Museum. According to Nora Cady, Administrative Director for the Pioneer Museum, “It’s community getting together to celebrate the start of Pioneer Farm Museum. Robert and Meryl Pruitt started an educational facility [the Pioneer Museum] 43 years ago and they’re the founders and it’s a non-profit museum run by a board of directors.”

When asked what takes place at the Founder’s Day Celebration, Nora replied, “We invite the community to come in through word of mouth, newspaper, announcements, and Facebook. It’s a time to get together and learn about the history of how the farm started. We have history boards that we put in the picnic area and articles how the farm has started and what’s happened through the years at the museum. It’s a time to look back in time for history at the farm.”

There are also 2 tours that are free only on Founder’s Day – the Pioneer Farm Tour and the Native American Seasons tour. The Pioneer Farm tour is very hands-on where you can learn about the historical cabins that are there. They also have a big activity cabin where kids can get dressed like a Pioneer, carve wool, girls can get their hair curled, boys can pretend that they are shaving, wash clothes, and slice vegetables. The tour rotates every 30 minutes then next is the blacksmith and the carpenter shop. In the barn you can milk the cow, pet all the animals, jump in the hay, go and check the eggs from the chicken coop and weigh them. According to Nora, the carpenter shop is the same building and in the same area you can see how the pulley works, use a buck saw, a draw knife, take the bark off a log with a spudder, use a hammer and nails and nail a piece of wood onto another piece of wood.

The Native American Tour is in the afternoon and you can visit the 3 different areas in the winter and talk about the coastal Salish Indians in the winter season, during spring and summer, and the third area where you can learn in the fall season about our Northwest Region.

Each of the tours are 90 minutes long and free only on Founder’s Day. Normally if it’s not Founder’s Day, the prices for the tours are as follows: 3 years of age and older for the Pioneer Farm Tour is $11 and $10 for kids and seniors. Seniors are defined as age 61+. The Native Seasons Tour is $10.50 for adults and $9.50 for kids and seniors.

There will also be some organized games for kids in groups of 3-5 year olds, 6-11 year olds, and 12-17 year olds. The types of games include: gunny sack race, egg carry, stash a straw in a big pile and jump into the straw and get candy, adults will have a men’s hatchet throw, and women will have a fry pan toss. There will be a wooden target to set up in the field, a bull’s eye with a piece of stump that’s cut out and made into a slice that’s approximately 50 feet away and men will throw the hatchet so that it will stick into the tree.

The fry pan toss is seeing what woman can throw the fry pan the furthest after standing behind a line.

Prizes for these games- in the past couple years, gift certificates in $5 increments were given for the Pioneer Farm Trading Post (gift shop).

There will also be free apple and pumpkin pie slices, coffee, and hot apple cider served to attendees at this Founder’s Day Celebration.

A silent auction will also take place where attendees can bid throughout the day on 7 or 8 items that are on a table and there is no need to be present as you can leave your contact information. Some items that have been auctioned off in the past have been: old antique dishes, old pictures, garden utensils, and handmade iron sculptures.

The proceeds all go toward the museum since there is a general fund cost.

Candle making will also take place in which you can purchase a candle that you will make from various color choices for a $1 each. They are 6 inch candles that are tapered and small and fat at the bottom which taper at the top.

A wagon ride will also be available for those who are interested in riding for a $1 per person which is a one horse drawn flat board wagon which runs from 12 pm to 1:30 pm and again from 2 pm to 4 pm. The ride is less than 5 minutes long and available for all ages. Nora explained, “The purpose [of riding the wagon] would be to experience the Pioneer Farm times in which Pioneers would haul their stuff and it’d be their mode of transportation.”

Nora shared about Founder’s Day, “It’s a good time to spend family time together doing something that’s hands on. It’s a fun thing for the whole family to do and a lot of hands on activities to experience Pioneer life and how it was like back in the 1800’s.”

Nora shared what many people may not know about the museum in general, “[It was] Robert and Meryl Pruitt’s vision for what this farm would do. It was their strong belief for creative education for children and be hands on and connect children with past generations in a unique and meaningful way.”

When asked who she recommended attend the Founder’s Day Celebration, Nora replied, “Anybody who’s interested in the history of the Northwest with Native Americans and pioneers would attend. Another good reason are these tours [mentioned above] are free that day and we don’t offer that any other time of the year.”

For more information please contact the Pioneer Farm Museum at: 360-832-6300 or online at: pioneerfarmmuseum.org

Nora concluded with Pioneer Farm Museum’s vision statement: “Pioneer Farm and Ohop Indian Village is dedicated to the memory of the early pioneers who’s self-sufficiency, tenacity, and ingenuity has made our life easier today along with the native people of the Nisqually Tribe who use their long held knowledge of the Nisqually basin to help the immigrants of the Ohop Valley to thrive in their new environment.”