Press Release
Press Release

“Autumn on the Farms” at Old World Wisconsin: Guests Can Help With 19th- and Early 20th-Century Harvest and Seasonal Activities

Thursdays Through Sundays, September 4 - October 31

By - Aug 19th, 2014 04:27 pm

Old World Wisconsin’s farmsteads will be bustling with 19th- and early 20th-century harvest activities during “Autumn on the Farms,” Thursdays through Sundays, September 4 through October 31.

Guests can help farmers with many seasonal tasks as they bring in the crops and fill the larders. Fields will be plowed using horse power, gas- and steam-powered engines will help make farm chores easier, the wood-burning stoves will be fired up, produce and meat will be preserved many different ways, and the historic site’s many farmsteads will be readied for winter. All of these tasks will be done using the same techniques and tools that the original immigrants to Wisconsin would have used.

19th-Century Food Preparation Mirrors 2014 Food Trends

Jennifer Van Haaften, associate director, programs and historical resources, elaborated on the draw: “This is one of our most popular events. As much of ‘Autumn on the Farms’ is harvest related, we’ll be doing lots of cooking, baking and butchering. We had to chuckle that our 19th-century way of addressing food is back in fashion: many of the foods we grow and the way we grow and prepare them at Old World Wisconsin match the same trends at the top of the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 trend list. These include using locally sourced meats and locally grown produce, an emphasis on environmental sustainability and nose-to-tail and root-to-stalk cooking. These were things 19th-century settlers did out of necessity and we’ll be showcasing them during ‘Autumn on the Farms.'”

Old World Wisconsin has expanded the scope of the event, and added complementary activities during the eight differently themed weekends; these include men’s and women’s vintage baseball during “Toys and Games,” a weekend dedicated to historic food sampling during “Fall Tastes,” and the historic site will even host an actual 1890s Pomeranian wedding, where the bride and groom will get married in a legal ceremony, on September 6. Old World Wisconsin will also partner with the Wisconsin Science Festival October 18-19 and showcase many labor-saving, 19th-century devices during “Everything but the Squeal” weekend.

Each “Autumn on the Farms” weekend has a different theme:

  • September 6-7: Old World Wedding (includes actual wedding Saturday)
  • September 13-14: Toys and Games (including vintage baseball each day)
  • September 20-21: Harvest Chores
  • September 27-28: Fall Tastes
  • October 4-5: Preparing for Winter
  • October 11-12: Preserving the Bounty
  • October 18-19: Everything but the Squeal (includes “Pioneer Power,” as part of the Wisconsin Science Festival)
  • October 25-26: Meat Four Different Ways

A detailed listing of activities for each “Autumn on the Farms” day is at:


Hours and Admission: Old World Wisconsin is open to the general public from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday through Sunday, September 4 through October 31 during “Autumn on the Farms” except for October 11, 18, 25 and 31, when the site closes at 4 pm to prepare for “Halloween Legends and Lore.”  Adults $16; children (5-17) $9 (children under 5 are free); students and senior citizens (65 and over) $14; family (two adults and two or more dependent children 5-17) $43. Fees include an all-day tram transportation pass. All details at or by calling 262-594-6301.


Overview of Old World Wisconsin

Old World Wisconsin is located in the Milwaukee/Chicago/Madison triangle.The outdoor museum features 19th- and early 20th-century Midwestern immigrant farm and rural life. In 2014, the museum launched “Catch Wheel Fever!”, a hands-on 1890s cycling experience, to great guest response. During the daily operating season May through October, plus postseason and holiday events in November and December, the museum offers family friendly activities, led by period-clad interpreters, as they visit 10 working farmsteads, explore 12 heirloom gardens, interact with heritage animal breeds, and try historic crafts and trades. Old World Wisconsin is located at W372 S9727 Highway 67, Eagle, WI 53119. For general information and details about 2014 activities, call 262-594-6301 or visit

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