LOCATING LIVING HISTORY TOWNS, FARMS and EVENTS
All of the living history towns and farms listed below will have a selection of photogenic historic buildings, usually dating from the very early 1900s back into the 1800s. A few living history towns and farms in the northeastern states will be even older, even back into Colonial times. And most, although not all, will be staffed with interpreters wearing appropriate clothing for the time period, or special annual events will feature the interpreters performing farm and other work tasks in the manner of long ago, using vintage equipment such as antique tractors and farm machinery, or horse drawn plows and harvesters. Many of these sites will also feature annual events with Revolutionary War or Civil War re-enactments and encampments, vintage baseball, and harvesting events using antique tractors or draft animals.
A few of the listed locations are actually annual outdoor pageants with several or dozens of re-enactors portraying a specific event, usually at or near the location of the historic event.
This list is not comprehensive, as there are other living history locations in most states. Check your state's tourist bureau publications for more information on other locations and events.
Note: Use the listed web sites to get directions and phone numbers and always call ahead before making a long trip to verify an event is happening, as well as the hours of operation (some living history towns and farms are closed during certain months of the year.)
Dothan: Landmark Park is an 1890's living history farm, with an old farmhouse, smokehouse, cane mill, syrup shed, one-room schoolhouse, a drugstore and soda fountain, a country store or a turn-of-the-century church, and farm animals. Living history includes plowing with draft animals, sheep shearing, blacksmithing, and other traditional farm activities, including a Victorian Christmas.
Eureka Springs: The unsuccessful Bank Robbery of the First National Bank of Eureka Springs that occurred on September 27, 1922 is re-enacted annually downtown in front of the Eureka Springs bank.
Phoenix: Pioneer Living History Village features 1800s buildings, and special events that include Revolutionary War and Civil War reenactments.
Clovis:A re-enactment of a 1924 Bank Robbery is presented by the Historical Society the last Saturday of February each year.
Mono County: Bodie State Historic Park is an authentic, preserved California gold-mining ghost town that sprang up after gold was discovered in the area in 1875. Although only a small part of the original town that once boasted a population of almost 10,000 remains, there are over 170 rustic (and very photogenic) buildings still standing, along with tons of mining equipment and other artifacts.
Colorado Springs: Garden of the Gods/Rock Ledge Ranch is a living history farm demonstrating life in the Pikes Peak region including an 1860's Homestead and 1880's ranch. Special events include historic 4th of July celebrations, vintage baseball, sheep shearing, and blacksmithing.
Delta: Fort Uncompahgre Living History Museum, with interpreters in period attire, is a recreation of the original Fort Uncompahgre fur trading post of around 1826.
Denver: Four Mile Historic Park is a preserved 1860 stage stop that served travelers on the old Cherokee Trail during Denver's gold rush days. Annual living history events may include a mid-1800s 4th of July celebration, Civil War soldiers, 18th century housewives, and a blacksmith at work.
Fairplay: South Park City is a recreated Colorado mining boom town with 34 authentic buildings, most moved here from other ghost towns in the area, with thousands of artifacts, period room settings and exhibits illustrating the professions, trades and industries of a Colorado mining town between 1860 and 1900. Annual historical reenactments are also held featuring a bank robbery, mountain men and towns folk dressed in period attire.
Grand Junction: Cross Orchards Historic Site is an early 1900s farm with costumed interpreters.
La Junta: Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site is a reconstructed 1840's adobe fur trading post on the Santa Fe Trail. Historians in frontier and fur trader clothing recreate the past with demonstrations and reenactments of the fur trade era.
Littleton: Littleton Historical Museum has costumed interpreters working the 1860s and 1890s farms, and special events feature horse plowing, teachers in the one-room school house, and a "smithy" at work in the 1900s blacksmith shop.
Tampa: Cracker Country is a living history museum with staff in period dress recreating rural pioneer Florida folk life of 1870-1912, with 13 original buildings relocated from all over the state.
Lumpkin: Historic Westville is an 1850s living history town.
Georgia's Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village features over 36 vintage structures with costumed interpreters demonstrating period life and work activities in a rural farming community of the 1870s, including an 1890s farm homestead, sawmill, blacksmith shop, grist mill, Feed and Seed store, print shop and drug store.
Lerna: Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site is the location of the 1840s farm of Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln, father and stepmother of President Abraham Lincoln, with a reproduction of the Lincolns' two-room furnished cabin. In addition, there is a working living history farm portraying 1840s rural life in Illinois. The Sargent Farm nearby presents the more advanced methods of farming during the 1850s.
Menard County: Lincoln's New Salem is a reconstruction of the mid 1800s village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood.
Naperville Naper Settlement is a 19th century living history museum with 19 historical structures
Rockton: Macktown Living History Education Center is a mid-1830s settlement in the process of being restored that presents living history events with costumed interpreters.
West Chicago: Kline Creek Farm has historically-costumed interpreters presenting period activities on an 1890s farm. Period tools and methods are demonstrated as farm animals are attended to and crops are planted and harvested using Percheron work horses. Also baking, canning, quilting and spring cleaning activities.
Battle Ground: Prophetstown State Park is a real working farm. The livestock are born and raised here and all the crops are used to feed them. Barn chores are done each day, and special living history events include "Planting Days" and "Grain Harvest Celebration."
Fishers: Conner Prairie features five living history areas including an 1836 Prairie town. Special events include Civil War reenactments.
Lowell: Buckley Homestead Living History Farm is an early 1900s farm and community with original buildings including a replica of the original one-room school of the mid-1800s to 1920s, a 1916 barn, granary, milk house, hog barn, and hired hands house, and an 1850s pioneer farm. Special events include WWII re-enactments.
Mitchell: Spring Mill State Park is the location for the restored Pioneer Village of 1914 vintage that contains 20 historic buildings, including an 1817 three story limestone gristmill that is still in operation. Interpreters portray the year 1863.
Rockville: Billie Creek Village is a living history town with buildings dating from 1830, including a pre-1900 post-office, a 1913 school house, an 1830s cabin and 3 covered bridges. Special events include Civil War reenactments and a debate between Abraham Lincoln and Steven A. Douglas, as well as antique tractor and car shows.
Cedar Rapids: Ushers Ferry Historic Village is comprised of 20 historic buildings depicting life in a small Iowa town 1890 to 1910.
Urbandale: Living History Farms & Walnut Hill 1875 Town presents a 1700 Ioway Indian Farm, a working 1850 farm and working 1900 farm with costumed staff tending to the crops and animals. Walnut Hill is a collection of 18 period buildings illustrating an 1875 period town. Special events demonstrate threshing, at times with a 1920s steam tractor, and binding, mowing and harvesting with horse drawn antique farm equipment.
Wichita: Old Cow Town Museum is a living history western cattle town of the 1870s.
Staffordsville: Mountain Homeplace is a working Appalachian Mountain farm of the 1850s, with interpreters in authentic period costumes performing daily chores on the McKenzie farmstead, as well as at annual living history events. Historic buildings include a one-room school house, the "Fishtrap Church," a double crib barn and hog lot, blacksmith shop, and mule powered grist mill.
Newfield: Willowbrook Museum Village includes a 19th century general store, printing shop, one room schoolhouse, and two historic barns.
Accokeek: National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park depicts life of a typical tobacco farming family during 18th century southern Maryland.
St. Mary's City: Historic St. Mary's City presents living history of the 17th Century, with costumed interpreters in recreated 17th-century settings portraying events of that period and a state house of 1676, a working Colonial tobacco plantation, a replica of a square-rigged ship the Maryland Dove, militia drills and other living history activities.
Kingsville: Jerusalem Mill is an original mill village of the 18th through the early 20th centuries, including a 1772 grist mill. Interpreters in period attire demonstrate blacksmithing and woodworking, as well as cooking, gardening, sewing, and spinning. Special events include 1800s baseball, Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enactments.
Plymouth: Plimoth Plantation has costumed historians portraying actual residents of Plymouth Colony, an English Village and farming community of 1627. There is also a recreated replica of the Mayflower ship they arrived from England on.
Salem: Salem Pioneer Village is a 1630s village with examples of Colonial architecture, dugouts, wigwams, thatched roof cottages, the Governor's Faire House, and a blacksmith shop.
Sturbridge: Old Sturbridge Village features historians in costume, antique buildings, water-powered mills, and a working farm with horse powered plowing and sheep shearing present New England life of the 1790-1840 period. Special events include an 1830s military muster and 1830s Independence Day celebrations, and Revolutionary War re-enactments.
Dearborn: Greenfield Village has seven historic villages portraying Henry Ford' s life, along with antique cars, living history demonstrations of 1880s farm life, and a steam railroad with 19th century roundhouse.
Mackinac Island: Fort Mackinac features 14 original fort buildings filled with period furnishings, military drills by 18th century British soldiers and 19th century American soldiers, vintage baseball, a court martial reenactment, and musket and canon firing demonstrations.
Mackinaw City: Colonial Fort Michilimackinac is a 1714-1715 French fort built to control the fur trade and European development of the upper Great Lakes, later controlled by the British sending troops to fight in the American Revolution, with daily living history presentations by British solder re-enactors. A special event is the Fort Michilimackinac Historical Re-enactment Pageant.
Northfield: Defeat of Jesse James Days
The famous Northfield raid September 7, 1876 by the James-Younger gang to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota, leaving two townspeople and two of the robbers dead, is reenacted in town several times Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the September anniversary of the original raid.
Pine City: North West Company Fur Post presents an 1804 Ojibwe Indian encampment, North West Company fur traders demonstrating how beaver fur was traded, and a Voyageur Militia Day recruiting for the army when the War of 1812 broke out.
Chesterfield: Faust Park Historic Village features a collection of 16 structures representing a variety of building and architectural styles, from log to brick, from 1840 to 1890, with staff in period dress, and on most weekends a working blacksmith.
Kansas City: Shoal Creek Living History Museum is a village with more than 20 authentic 19th century buildings dating from 1807-1885, including a water powered grist mill, log cabin, and an Antebellum brick mansion. Special events include a Civil War reenactment.
Lathrop: The Lathrop Antique Club holds a living history event including an antique tractor and car show each October at the Lathrop Antique Show Grounds, on Hwy. 33 just south of the Lathrop city limits.
Lee's Summit: Missouri Town 1855 has staff and interpreters in period attire depicting the 19th Century lifestyle in an 1850s farm community of over 25 buildings dating from 1820 to 1860, with original furnishings and equipment and annual living history events.
Sibley: Fort Osage National Historic Landmark
Military re-enactments of the early 1800s are presented in this 1808 fort built under the direction of William Clark of the Lewis & Clark expedition.
Dillon: Bannack State Park
Bannack was founded in 1862 with the discovery of gold on Grasshopper Creek. The towns sheriff, Henry plummer, moonlighted as a road agent with a band of outlaws, robbing and killing travelers in the area. Plummer was hung by vigilantes in 1864. Over 60 original buildings remain, and annual events with costumed re-enactors recreate a look at Bannack life.
Garryowen: Real Bird's reenactment of the Battle of the Little Bighorn is always held on the 3rd weekend of June each year. The outdoor pageant style re-enactment portrays the famous June 25, 1876 battle between George Armstrong Custer with his 7th Cavalry and Cheyenne and Sioux warriors, and takes place on the banks of the Little Bighorn River where Sitting Bull's Camp was and a portion of the 1876 battle took place.
Hardin: Custer's Last Stand Reenactment outdoor pageant near Hardin is also held on the 3rd weekend of June, portraying the early settlement of the west from the days of the mountain men to the wagon trains that helped ignite the conflict between the Native Americans and European settlers and led up to the battle.
Scobey: Daniels County Museum & Pioneer Town depicts a town in the early 1900's with 35 historic restored buildings and antique cars, tractors and machinery.
Virginia City: Nevada City Living History Museum is a western gold rush town dating from the 1860s with Over 100 1863 to early 1900 buildings, and close to 70 living history interpreters on living history weekends. Several western movies have been filmed here, including Lonesome Dove episodes.
New London: New London Historical Society presents sixteen 19th century buildings, many dating from the early or mid-1800s, with exhibits of 19th century life in the New London area.
Cape May: Historic Cold Spring Village has two dozen historic buildings along with historical Independence Day celebrations, vintage baseball games, a Civil War Weekend with field hospitals and cavalry, and Revolutionary War Encampments portray life in South Jersey during the 1789-1840 period.
Lambertville: Howell Living History Farm has costumed staff farming with tools and techniques of the 1890-1910 time period. Plowing, planting, cultivating, manure spreading and many other operations are done with horse drawn equipment. Special events include sheep shearing and old tyme baseball.
Stanhope: Wild West City is a recreated 19th century old west frontier theme park portraying western gunfighters, towns people and events.
Amherst: Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village features 17 historic 19th century buildings.
Cooperstown: Farmers' Museum is a working farmstead, recreated historic village, and a Colonial Revival stone barn are part of the two dozen buildings depicting 19th-century rural and village life in New York.
Monroe: Museum Village at Old Smith's Cove presents Civil War re-enactments, and over two dozen 19th century buildings.
Old Bethpage: Old Bethpage Village Restoration is a mid-19th-century American village and farm, with 55 historic buildings including homes, farms and businesses typical of A rural Long Island farm village of the mid-1800s. Special events include Civil War re-enactments.
Schoharie: Old Stone Fort museum complex includes an early 1700s home, a 1780s Dutch barn, an 1830s law office, an 1890s one-room schoolhouse, and the 1772 stone church that was fortified and attacked by British forces in 1780. Living history re-enactors present readings of the Declaration of Independence and other documents of the time, and depict spontaneous protests and debates under the Liberty Pole erected as a gesture of defiance towards the British Empire.
Huntersville: Historic Latta Plantation is a circa 1800 cotton plantation and living history farm, with living history demonstrations including open hearth cooking, weaving, woodworking, blacksmithing, and Civil War and WW II re-enactments.
Williston: Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is a reconstructed trading post of 1828 to 1867, with living history portraying the fur trade, and the annual Fort Union Rendezvous.
Bath: Hale Village and Farm is an outdoor living history museum featuring life in the mid-1800s, with historical interpreters in period dress, historic farm structures and demonstrations of candle-making, blacksmithing, sawmilling, and hearth cooking. Special events include Civil War re-enactments.
Bellevue: Historic Lyme Village presents life in the early 1800's to the early 1900's, with 17 buildings including log homes, barns, a one room school, a general store, the town hall, and a log church, as well as an 1836 house used on the Underground Railroad by runaway slaves escaping to the north. Historical reenactment events include a fur trader rendezvous, Pioneer Days, and a Victorian Christmas.
Columbus: Ohio Village is a recreation of the way of life in 19th Century Ohio, with 22 historic buildings, and living history with costumed interpreters and vintage baseball games.
Sharonville: Heritage Village Museum is a recreated 1800's community featuring thirteen historic buildings, with Civil War re-enactments and vintage baseball.
Edgemont Township: Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation recreates life of 1720-1820 on this authentic working Colonial era farm with costumed farm workers and special events including French & Indian and Civil War re-enactments and military musters, and plowing and harvesting by horse.
Somerset: Somerset Historical Center features 1770s and 1830s farms with period buildings and living history programs such as "Soldiers Through Time," a multi-era living history encampment with re-enactors portraying soldiers from the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, Civil War, and both World Wars
Bristol: Coggeshall Farm Museum is a living history farm featuring Bristol's agrarian life in the year 1799 with historic structures and interpreters dressed in period correct clothing running the farm.
Blacksburg Kings Mountain State Park features a living history replica 1890s South Carolina yeoman farm with a barn, cotton gin and blacksmith/carpenter shop. Living history days are scheduled throughout the year.
Clinton: The Museum of Appalachia features living history programs of a mountain farm village with three dozen vintage log structures and farm animals in a picturesque setting.
Kingsport: Exchange Place - Gaines Preston Farm presents living history of the 1850's, including quilting, basketmaking, ropemaking, chairmaking, caning, whittling, blacksmithing, weaving, spinning, pottery, hearth side cooking, soap making, and apple cider squeezing.
Piney Flats: Rocky Mount Museum / Living History Site has living history interpreters demonstrating blacksmithing, sheep shearing, spinning, weaving, cooking, and gardening
Southside: Historic Collinsville is a living history museum of 1830 to 1870 with authentically restored log houses and buildings with authentic furnishings.
Gonzales: The Gonzales Pioneer Village Living History Center is a collection of 1800's and early 1900's era buildings from Gonzales County.
Washington: Barrington Living History Farm is a reconstructed farmstead of a century and a half ago, with livestock and interpreters dressed in period style clothing.
Salt Lake City: This Is the Place Heritage Park features a living history village of the 1850s called Old Deseret, with structures than include a schoolhouse, hotel, and stores.
Wellsville: The American West Heritage Center is a living history museum tells the story of the Old West from 1820 to 1920, and includes the 1917 Jensen Historical Farm, and the 1845-70 Pioneer Era of homesteading and life in a dugout or log cabin. There are also depictions of life in Shoshone Indian villages, mountain-man encampments, and western reenactments.
Chester: Henricus Historical Park presents historical interpretation and re-enactments of Henricus during the coordinated military offensive of Powhatan leader Opechancanough on March 22, 1622, with armed colonists on sentry duty and Powhatan interpreters. Special events feature military musters and Civil War re-enactments.
Galax: Matthews Living History Farm Museum presents circa 1900 demonstrations of farm life with costumed interpreters.
Jamestown: Jamestown and Yorktown Settlement and Victory Center presents living history of the 17th and 18th centuries.
McLean: Claude Moore Colonial Farm is a 1771 Colonial farm worked by costumed interpreters.
Petersburg: Pamplin Historic Park recreates a Civil War era camp.
Staunton: The Frontier Culture Museum presents four historic, reconstructed Colonial era working farms from Germany, Northern Ireland, England, and Botetourt County, Virginia, and a working 18th century blacksmith forge from Northern Ireland, with living history demonstrations.
Williamsburg: Colonial Williamsburg is an original town dating from before the American Revolution.
Carnation: Camlann Medieval Village is a living-history museum portraying rural England in 1376, with knights in combat, archery, minstrels, and sword and long bow demonstrations.
Walla Walla: Fort Walla Walla Museum and Pioneer Village presents living history demonstrations of life in a 17 building mid-1800s pioneer village including cabins, blacksmith shop, schools, a jail, train depot, doctor's office and antique vehicles.
Yacolt: Pomeroy Living History Farm with staff and volunteers dressed in period costume portrays 1920's agrarian life in Southwest Washington state. Special events include a "Steam Logging Show."
Fairmont: Prickett's Fort State Park is a recreation of the original Prickett's Fort of 1774, which served as a refuge from Native American war parties on the western frontier of Colonial Virginia, with living history interpreters recreating late 18th century lifestyle through period attire and demonstrations of a variety of colonial crafts, including blacksmiths, spinners and weavers and 18th century firearm manufacturing.
Lost Creek: Watters Smith Memorial State Park has a historic 1790s-1870s pioneer homestead farm.
Allouez: Heritage Hill State Historical Park has 25 historical structures including log cabins from the fur trade era, buildings from Fort Howard, and stores and public buildings from the late nineteenth century. Special events include British Military encampments.
Danbury: Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park is a living history site with fur trade posts reconstructed at the actual site of 1802 to 1805, with staff dressed in period clothing, and an annual fur trader Rendezvous.
Eagle: Old World Wisconsin, an 1870s village.
Fond du Lac: Galloway House and Village, a Victorian village with about two dozen photogenic buildings.
Manitowoc: Pinecrest Historical Village is a rural museum with 25 historic buildings with period furnishings interpreting village and farm life in Manitowoc County from the 1850's to the early 1900's.
Saukville: Ozaukee County Pioneer Village is a collection of over 20 buildings and structures from the 1840's to the early 1900's. Furnished homes, barns and outbuildings, and the original Cedarburg Railroad Depot. Events include antique tractor shows and Revolutionary War re-enactments.
Cody: Old Trail Town, a photogenic collection of period buildings from the 1800s.
Pinedale: The Green River Rendezvous Pageant is an outdoor living history pageant featuring the fur trade era, Indian life and early settlers. Held the 2nd weekend in July by the Museum of the Mountain Man.