Saturday, July 14, 2012
Barn Museum on the grounds of Mohonk Mountain House.
I am a museum geek and this particular collection is unique in that you are free to wander around the barn and dig through all kinds cool artifacts and ephemera gathered from the late 1800s to early 1920s.
Mohonk's founding family, the Smileys, were Quakers and apparently never threw anything away...
Even wooden box crate end panels were re-purposed and used as trail markers...
My son spent time poking around the farm equipment and tools, asking "what's this? what's this for? what does this do?" and I did my best to cobble together answers based on the captions handwritten on nearby placards (and what I could recall from middle school history and social studies).
I showed him how objects were built to last...
I explained what a bitch it was to simply grind coffee beans or make ice cream (and the tasks required to keep the ice cream cold)...I wondered if the ice cream tasted that much better after all that hard work.
It had to, right?
We talked about what school was like back then and he observed that the classroom wasn't exactly worlds apart from his own experience (except for maybe the iMacs and yoga mats in his first grade class).
We looked at beautifully crafted objects like a child's sled that could still be used on a snowy day and wondered if our own plastic eyesore from Target would be in a museum decades and decades from now.
probably not (but, we do have a pretty cool handmade Mountain Boy sled in the garage, too)
The barn museum was very cool...I'm glad my kid digs this kind of stuff, too.