Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Report: Agricultural Museums Tour: 10/20/09

This is a report about a real interesting day for the 5-Points Arby's Coffee Group, from over here near Lewes, Delaware. All of us are, almost old men, retired, with plenty of time on our hands, mostly Republican. Eight of the coffee group visited the Delaware Agricultural Museum, north of Dover, direct across from the Dover Downs Racetrack. There is no excuse for telling anyone "'you don't know where it is". It is very visible and well worth and hour or two of your time. Yes, it cost $3, but try to get them to take a bit extra since the State has reduced their operational fund. There is a gift shop, go in, spend some money. The staff and volunteers are great and very helpful. Most of the museum artifacts pertain to farming, antique farming, more modern farming, good ole days housekeeping, hog killings, hand milked cows, water driven grist mill and saw mill, general store, barber shop, one room school, church and railroad station where you can sit and wait for the train. Do you know what a 'cucumber' pump is? Visit and find out. Also, this month, there is the art exhibit of the Hammond family, Mrs. Hammond and her daughter are there to greet you. The paintings, pencils sketches, etc., are well worth the visit. Of interest too, there is a two generation family of turkey buzzards living in or around the barn. If you hurry up and go, the two 'young ones' will still have 'face feathers' and ain't that bad to look at.
Now, this was not the end of our exciting day, for on the trip back home to Lewes, after a failure to visit the South Bowers Indian Burial Site, it being 'closed', we made an abrupt stop at the Bennett Farm Museum , just south of Argo's Corner, and great day, what a surprise. There at the sheds on the west side of the beach bound highway, Delaware 1, is a collection of 'good ole days' farm equipment, tractors, hay gathering machines, threshers and wagons. Yes, there is a 'timber cart'. After you have looked this exhibit over real good, it is a good bet that Fred Bennett III will drive up in his grey Dodge pickup, engage you in a lively conversation and then invite you to follow him to the 'barn' down the road, and, yes, during the conversations, sooner or later, everybody, will know everybody that everybody knows. The barn is full, I mean 'full' of history. Thanksgiving Dinner table is set with antique dinnerware. Everything but the turkey and taters, and pumpkin pie. Next to it is a memorabilia table, documents you have never seen before, pamphlets we all threw away years ago, magazines, newspapers, of times past and of interest. This is just the beginning of a three, maybe four, generation farm family collection of just everyday things. A collection to toy tractors that the kids will love , family things from the home that both mom and grandmom will want to spend time with. This is one 'free' museum that has been open since January 20, 2001 you want to make an 'extra effort' to visit, take my word for it. Fred II says "it is for the benefit of all to enjoy the history of agriculture". You can call before a visit, 684-1627. Mr. Bennett also said he has a wonderful wife, so don't worry if she answers your ring. Mrs, Bennett is from Sussex County farm families too, the Argo's and Cliftons. A family can't get much better than this.

1 comment:

  1. What terrific reviews of these museums. I felt like I there along with you! Thanks!