Farm Day Review
A Look at Farm Days of the Past
The major summer festival of Fort Edwards is our Farm Day celebration. Farm Day was established as the last Saturday in June, our annual Visitor Center opening weekend. We commemorate the fact that the early settlers of Hampshire County were farmers, and we have over 250 years of agriculture in our county. Even during the French and Indian War when our Fort was occupied it was the farmers that the soldiers came to protect. Below we see some pictures from Farm Days past.
Unfortunately, because of dwindling attendance and support Farm Day has been discontinued until 2009. We hope members of the community will support the reinstatement of this interesting event celebrating over 250 years of farming in Hampshire County since the days of Joseph Edwards. Please check our Calendar of Events to see if it will be reinstituted; note that the date may change.
Farm Day 2006
There were two main items of interest at Farm Day on June 24, 2006. First was the dedication of a bench in the Kitchen Garden to a late member of The Fort Edwards Foundation, Dick Munske. The bench was placed across from the one dedicated to Lake Henderson.
Foundation Vice President Bob Flanagan dedicated the bench in honor of Dick Munske, a hardworking member of the Foundation. Shown behind Bob is the honor guard made up of Jim Rogers, Gene Breeden, Chad Ayers, and Richard Hornberger of the Maryland Forces. We appreciate the Maryland Force's continued support of Farm Day over the years.
The other point of interest was the demonstration by Mike Frank of the Smithsonian Institution of the atlatl. This is a simple piece of wood that allows one to hurl a spear much further than with a simple hand grip. Mike comes to Fort Edwards events often to demonstrate flintknapping. His atlatl demonstration certainly impressed the audience.
Farm Day 2004
The theme for Farm Day June 26, 2004 at Fort Edwards was "Guarding the Farmers." The theme recognized that the year 2004 is both the 250th anniversary of Hampshire County and the 250th anniversary of the opening year of the French and Indian War. As part of this important anniversary we dedicated a memorial to the soldiers and settlers who lost their lives in Hampshire County during the French and Indian War. We recognize that the settlers of our county were mostly farmers, and they bore much of the cost of the war as Indians burned their homes, slaughtered their livestock and often killed or captured the families.
The Fort Edwards Foundation Board of Directors thought it fitting that the centerpiece of our new Kitchen Garden should be this granite memorial. It commemorates both the early settlers and the soldiers of Col. George Washington's Virginia Regiment who came to Hampshire County to guard the settlers.
Kitchen Garden, click here!
Farm Day at Fort Edwards 2004 was also a time of fun and festivities. This year we had a Native American interpreter, Ghost in the Head. Many of our young visitors were very impressed with him; so were the older visitors.
In order to properly commemorate "Guarding the Farmers" we needed some soldiers.
Tom Kerling (rjght) of Joshua Beall's Company of the Maryland Forces was on hand with two associates to represent colonial soldiers. Here he is giving a demonstration of the flintlock gun to our visitors as Rich Hornberger looks on.
We also had representatives of our local frontiersmen and militia to take part in the commemoration. Check our our jigsaw puzzle.
As usual, we had some wonderful colonial craftsmen and women. We are very proud of the quality of the crafts demonstrated at Farm Day. Our special thanks to chairmaker Charles Boland who worked very hard on the Kitchen Garden; he is shown here carving spindels for his beautiful chairs.
Since the major product of agriculture is food we always have plenty on hand to satisfy even the heartiest appetite.
One of our annual all time favorite exhibits is this farm wagon or "Conestoga" wagon that is brought by Mr. Gary VanMeter. We believe in education as well as entertainment and Mr. VanMeter is a wonderful teacher about old transportation and an exciting story teller. He is worth the visit.
Pulling wagons or working the fields required some horses or mules. Here they are waiting for work.
Here we see a Mammoth Jack, as strain developed by George Washington. We assume you can tell which is the jackass.
Our Farm Day celebrates the farming heritage of Hampshire County for 250 years.
After the hard work of farming, people often relaxed by playing music as we still do today.
One of the wonderful things about our location is that although we are in the Town of Capon Bridge, our property looks much the say it did when Joseph Edwards arrived over 250 years ago. It does not take much imagination to see your self there long ago as you watch our surveyor in this rustic setting.
Farm Day 2002 was the year we began the custom of giving a button to each of our demonstrators. This brought us many happy smiles from our antique farm equipment owners.
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updated: May 15, 2016