Friday, October 11, 2013

Vacation Day 6 ~ Frontier Culture Museum and Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library

Our last day of vacation found us 3 hours south of Washington, D.C. in Staunton, Virginia. We came in the night before and stayed in a motel. Our Washingtonian grandparents followed us down so they could spend the last day with us.

We visited the Frontier Culture Museum. I visited this museum as a child when it was still under construction. It is complete and even more wonderful than I had remembered. You "travel through" old world Europe and West Africa. After seeing how people lived in these different places in the late 1600's and 1700's, you immigrate to the New World.  Then you visit the American Frontier and see how the people are living in their new home.

First up ~ West Africa to learn about how the people were living there before being kidnapped and sent to America as slaves. It was really impressive to see how much cooler it was inside the hut. Those thick clay walls made a huge difference. In each home an interpreter was available to answer questions and show a skill of some sort. At the time of our visit, the interpreter in West Africa was making water jugs out of gourds.

We then moved on to see an upper middle class English home in the late 1600's. As with most of the farms at the Frontier Museum, this home was actually moved here from its site in England, so it's the actual home that people lived in. They really lived pretty comfortably. The kids tried to visit with the cow (who still had her horns), but she chased them off. She charged them as if she were a bull!! I'm glad she was tied to a tree. In England the children had an opportunity to stir a pot over a fire and help make cheese.

Next, we visited Ireland. This stop was lovely to me. I love the whitewashed walls of old Irish homes. The kids were completely enamored with the pigs at this stop. We also enjoyed visiting the forge and watching the blacksmith make spoons and pokers.

Our last stop in Old Europe was Germany. This was the kids favorite stop because there were so many things of leisure to do. The kids tried their hands at playing musical instruments, bowling, feeding chickens, drawing well water, wearing wooden shoes, dancing around a maypole and dressing up in native costumes.

We then "immigrated" to America. We saw a one room school house, a small starter home and a much more glamorous frontier home complete with a spring house. The kids played checkers for a long time at this stop.

We finished our tour of this museum with a visit to a Native American Indian village.

The kids worked on a dug out canoe for a few moments. Overall, it was a great experience for them.
My Dad was with us and as always was behind his camera. I caught him taking a picture of me behind my camera. LOL!

After lunch we drove into the town of Staunton and visited the Woodrow Wilson Museum and Presidential Library. The main goal here was to learn a bit more about WWI history. The kids really liked the scavenger hunt and the WWI trenches exhibit.


What an awesome vacation! We drove into the night and arrived home shortly before 11 pm. We had a great trip, but really wore ourselves out. I got a nasty cold promptly after arriving home. We have slowly worked our way through this week. I am glad I didn't schedule us to start our new quarter until next Monday. We needed a slow move back into our full routine from our adventure.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Thank you for posting this, Dawn. I have had this museum on my To Do list for years now, but we have never gotten around to doing it. Now I really want to do it. I think it would be great to do when Alex finishes up West Africa.

  2. Wow! I didn't even know this museum existed. It needs to go on my To Do list :-)

  3. What a great place for learning,

  4. What an amazing vacation!!! I would love to go to this museum. We love things like this. Looks like you had so much fun!!!

  5. I've never heard of the Frontier Culture Museum, either! It looks amazing! I'm glad you had a good vacation, and I hope you feel better soon!

  6. What a fantastic museum and you took some lovely pictures. What a great idea to have houses from different countries. I love it!

  7. Lovin' your vacation! A great combination of learning and family fun! And you danced around a May Pole! Yay!

  8. Sounds like a fascinating, fun, and exciting vacation! I wish everyday of school was like this! Thanks for sharing your week with us at Friendship Friday!

  9. I hadn't heard of the Frontier place. I've been looking at the WW museum since we are starting some studies on him and WWI. Hope you feel better soon.