Josh Nichols goes back in time to become a farmhand

Local News

MUMFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — I’ve always been fascinated by history, and as an adult, that fascination continues.

So when the opportunity came to do a job for a day that I’ve always wanted to do, the choice was easy.

I went back to 1830 to work on a farm in Mumford, New York.

Now this job means more than just putting on clothes that were worn 200 years ago — there’s some hard work involved.

First I learned what the children of the time work work on for hours. Yes, churning butter is tedious, but I did have some fun along the way.

Then it was time to get out onto the farm during the very busy harvest time.

That meant gathering the corn in the field, and shucking it. Wasn’t too hard, but definitely time consuming and definitely important.

More challenging was the process of footing a sheep — the farm equivalent of a pedicure.

From there it was on to the next chore and a visit with the blacksmith who showed me how to use the bellows, to get the fire going, and then it was time to create!

Admittedly, not my strongest suit.

However, for all the living history interpreters here at the Genesee Valley Country and Museum, all of these tasks are real and have to be done. Not only to keep the experience as real as possible, but also to teach important lessons to those visiting today about how life was in the 1800s.

“I want them to forget where they are,” said Marie Shultz, GVCM living history interpreter. “I want them to go back into history with us so we’re not just teaching them, but we’re helping them to experience, and especially the children.”

Learning from our past while educating our future — all while having some fun along the way.

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