“A lot of the community is just now noticing (the farmstead),” Museum Committee Chair and volunteer coordinator Danielle Bachant-Bell said.
The farmstead is 11 acres, and it holds two homes, four outbuildings, orchards and gardens, according to its website.
The farmstead usually has open hours the last Saturday of every month. In December, the last Saturday is between Christmas and New Year’s, so the volunteers planned an event earlier in the month to draw the community into their hands-on museum.
The food provided at the holiday event was made from ingredients grown on the farm. Volunteers make syrup from the maple trees on the property during the winter. In January and February, visitors can see the tapping, flowing and bottling.
Other events at the farmstead teach Bloomington residents to cook and garden.
Bloomington Restorations has owned the farmstead since 2004, and they have organized the fall open house for the past three years.
“The story of the Hinkle-Garton Farmstead is the story of changing ways in the Midwest for the past 150 years,” a sign in the house said. “We’ve gone from a farming and small town lifestyle to what we know today.”
Daisy Hinkle-Garton donated the farmstead to Bloomington Restorations in 2004.
“She was a very active person in the community, and she wanted this to be Bloomington’s farmstead,” Bachant-Bell said. “She wanted this to be a part of the community.”
Daisy Hinkle-Garton made provisions to ensure the property would remain a farmstead.
“She knew that if she did not leave her property in a trust document, the land would be developed,” Bachant-Bell said. The land is protected in three ways: H-G placed it in her trust, it’s a local historic place and it’s on a National Register of Historic Places.
The house is a museum and historic site, but unlike many museums everything can be touched.
“If someone wants to sit in that chair, as long as it doesn’t break, that’s fine,” Bachant-Bell said. “We want people to use it.”
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