The Hinkle-Garton farmhouse, located on Bloomington’s East side, will open for its monthly museum open day 1-4 p.m., Feb 27.
The farmstead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned and maintained by Bloomington Restorations, Inc., an organization devoted to preserving historic properties in Monroe County. The farmhouse site now includes 11 acres with six buildings, and tours are conducted on the first floor of the main house.
While the museum normally opens on the last Saturday of each month, the pandemic has caused the farmstead to close for two months. Feb. 27 is the first open day of the year because the event was canceled in January due to high COVID-19 cases in Bloomington, said Steve Wyatt, executive director of Bloomington Restorations Inc. and the Hinkle-Garton Farmstead.
“It’s a great opportunity to see the historic house, and also experience maple syrup making since it’s a winter activity,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt said the main house museum will open with COVID-19 safety procedures in place. Guests must wear masks, and only one group will be allowed inside the museum at a time for tours. The tours are free and can be brief or long depending on if guests have questions, Wyatt said.
Along with tours, people can visit outdoor sugaring operations and learn about the maple syrup production process, Wyatt said. If the weather permits it, there will be a syrup boil in progress in the wood-fired outdoor evaporator, an old cast iron kettle.
Do-it-yourself kits with instructions for maple syrup production will be available. Guests will be able to purchase items such as bottled maple syrup, maple cream, maple candy and jellies.