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Around The Grange
Celebrate the Holidays with the Kelley Farm

By Jessica Kohen, Marketing and Communications, Minnesota Historical Society (Released 11/10/10)

  NOVEMBER 30, 2010 --

Help ring in the holidays 19th-century style with two special programs offered at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River, Minnesota this December.

A Toy Making Workshop will be held on Saturday, December 4, beginning at 10:00 AM.  Visitors can learn the art of what Christmas elves do best, make toys. In this workshop held in the visitor center, participants will make the kinds of toys children made in the 19th-century. A choice of several toys is offered, including a ball and cup game, buzz saws, pick-up sticks and corn husk dolls. All tools and materials will be provided.  The cost to participate is $5 per person, $4 per person for Minnesota Historical Society members.  Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 763-441-6896.

Christmas on the Farm will be celebrated on December 18 and 19, beginning at 2:00 PM each day. Experience a simpler approach to the holiday season of today during a 75-minute guided tour that includes a hike along portions of the nature trail, the historic house and the livestock pens. Discover how farm families and their animals coped with shorter days, colder temperatures and the upcoming holidays 150 years ago. Enjoy a horse or oxen-drawn bobsled or wagon ride. Dress for outdoor weather. Warm refreshments will follow the program in the visitor’s center.  The cost to participate is $6 per person, $4 per person for Minnesota Historical Society members.  Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 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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