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Around The Grange
Celebrate a Yankee Thanksgiving with the Kelley Farm

By Jessica Kohen, Marketing and Communications, Minnesota Historical Society (Released 10/20/10)

  NOVEMBER 11, 2010 --

Two autumn programs will be offered at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River, Minnesota this November - Learn to build a Birdfeeder and Celebrate a Yankee Thanksgiving.

Visitors will have an opportunity to make a birdfeeder to take home complete with directions for mounting and feed to use at a special workshop at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm on November 13. Birds are a gardener’s friend assisting with pest control and pollination of plants. The Kelley Farm has hundreds of bird species that pass through on migration or that live in the area year round. The nature trails attract such birds as woodpeckers, orioles, blue birds and more. Bird feeders are essential to encouraging the birds to stay around for the winter. All materials and tools are provided. This is a great workshop for scouts and grandparents with grandchildren.

The workshop will take place from 10:00 AM to Noon. Cost is $10 per birdfeeder for materials. Reservations are required. Call 763-441-6896.

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the first day of Thanksgiving in 1863. The Oliver H. Kelley Farm will host a Thanksgiving that shows what life was like on a Yankee farm at this bountiful time of year on November 21, beginning at 2:00 PM. 

Visitors can hike along the nature trails to the farm stead and historic house and discover how Minnesotans prepared for winter and celebrated the harvest. Participants will have the chance to explore the filled barn and root cellar, meet the animals and enjoy the aromas of a hearty Thanksgiving meal. Those interested in the event are reminded to dress for the weather. Warm refreshments will be provided.  The cost is $6.00 per person, $4.00 per person for Minnesota Historical Society members and children under the age of 5. Reservations are required. Call 763-441-6896.

Oliver H. Kelley and his wife Lucy began farming the land on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1850. Kelley was the founder of the first successful national farming organization, the Patrons of Husbandry, better known as the Grange. The Kelley Farm is recognized as "The birthplace of organized agriculture in America."

The working 1860s Minnesota farm is located at 15788 Kelley Farm Rd., 2.5 miles southeast of downtown Elk River on U.S. Hwy. 10. It is a National Historic Landmark operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. For more information call 763-441-6896.

The Society's calendar of events is posted online at events.mnhs.org/calendar. The web site also has information about all of the Society's programs, museums and historic sites. 

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. Its essence is to help illuminate the past as a way to shed light on the future. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota's past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.


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