Old World in the New World
About an hour or so outside of Racine, a small town in Wisconsin where my mother is from, you can go back in time to when there were no cell phones and you had to churn your own butter. At Old World Wisconsin, the history lesson is immersive as you tour around old homesteads and farms with workers in full costumes as they take you through the daily lives of our ancestors. You begin to appreciate all of the modern technology that we have!
The houses and farmsteads are separated into different areas. Now, you can pay extra and take a tram to each area, or you can be cheapos like my mother and I and decide to hike the miles long path between them. A little exercise is good though, right?!
As a history lover, I really appreciated the knowledge of the staff about the everyday workings of the past. Just the process of making a simple shirt could take weeks, from growing the cotton and making the cloth to sewing it. These days, you can just drive to your local mall and get several shirts and pants to go with them!
From a previous post, you may know that I have a strange fascination about toilets through history. Is that weird? I had known about outhouses and the like, but it was here that I learned about the practice of using corn cobs to, er, wipe with. Ouch! That Charmin is looking mighty good now, huh?
No Grocery Stores Here!
Many people back then had to make their own foods. One of the many problems they had to face was the lack of crops in the winter months. So, they spent months ahead of time preparing, drying out herbs and salting and smoking meat and storing food in root cellars. A great amount of time was dedicated to the simple act of survival. It really puts things in perspective.
So, if you are ever in the area, in-between stuffing your face with cheese curds and kringles like I did, I would check out this great, immersive open air museum. Even if you aren’t a fan of history, it will give you great perspective on our modern lives and how lucky we are to live in the times that we do.