Wednesday, October 5, 2016

McCracken House, Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum

On our visit to the Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum, we saw the McCracken House, an example of houses with no electricity.

McCracken House

On the porch were a pair of rollerskates from back in the day. We did not get to try them on.

Old-fashioned skates

The first room inside was the family room with a wood burning stove and a hand-cranked record player. It took a little while to explain how the records played to my daughter. She was fascinated.

Family room

Just behind the family room is the kitchen. The kitchen has both a wood burning stove and a kerosene stove. I liked the big wood burner better.

Two stoves

The kitchen cabinet has a flour sifter which did a lot of work back in the day. If you had the "run of the mill" flour, there would be plenty of other bits in the flour that need to be sifted out before making bread, cereal, and other foods.

Cabinet with flour sifter installed

The other fun non-electric appliance is the ice box. Ice was delivered every day or every other day and put inside the box to keep perishables refrigerated. Neat!

Ice box

Out on the porch are the washer and dryer. Washing by hand looks hard but the dryer is pretty simple.  The docent thought that people wouldn't know what clothespins are in a few years but I think that we'll probably be using them anyway, regardless of how easy it is to use an electric clothes dryer.



Back inside we saw the dining room set for breakfast. The dining room has a high chair and a wheel chair, items donated to the museum.

Dining Room

Wheel chair with spitoon?

We went upstairs to see the bedrooms. The house has one master bedroom, a children's room, and a sewing room.


Master bedroom

Children's bedroom

Crib in the children's room

Desk and dresser in the children's room

The sewing room is another example of non-electric tools in use. The clothes iron would be heated on the stove downstairs. The sewing machine is powered by feet; the spindle by hand.

The sewing room

Like many other places, the McCracken House was a fun place to visit but I don't know that we'd want to live there!

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