Last week the kids and I made the trek to Oklahoma City to visit Harn Homestead with our homeschool group. Harn Homestead is the former home of William Harn who came to Oklahoma to help sort out land disputes after the land run of 1889. He donated half of the land needed to build the capital building, which is right down the street. His niece lived there until 1967 when she handed over the property to Oklahoma City so that children could learn about the life the Harns led. Which is where we come in..
The first stop on our tour was the farmhouse on the property. The house is set up in a surprisingly hands on way to teach kids about the work involved in farm and family life in the turn-of-the early nineteenth century. The kids could “cook” in the kitchen, play in the living room and get dressed in pioneer clothing. It was a full immersion experience and they loved it!
Next we visited the one room school house and the kids got a taste of what school was like back then. The visit was complete with bench seats, boys on one side girls on the other, slates and chalk, and a teacher who stayed in character as a pioneer schoolmarm. For a moment I was nervous about our modern manners holding up in this situation, but the children rose to the occasion and played right along!
Just like today, recess is everyone’s favorite part of the school day.
Our last stop was the barn where the kids were given a lesson on the Harn Homtead motto of , “waste not, want not”, by seeing how things on a farm can be used and reused in so many different ways.
When we planned the trip to Harn Homestead, I assumed it would be in a rural area but I was completely wrong. It is a six minute walk from the capital building, right in the middle of the city! Since the Harn’s are part of the history of the land run, Harn Homestead has land run reenactment days in the spring. Our day at Harn Homestead brought an important period in Oklahoma’s history alive and the children left with a personal connection to our state’s pioneering days. Thank you Mr. Harn and Ms. Wilson!