A day teeming with local history

There certainly will not be any smartphones, e-readers or laptops on display here.

Barclay Farmstead will be hosting its second annual Make It Historic Day in Cherry Hill on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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The family friendly day will be presented through the Friends of Barclay Farmstead in conjunction with Cherry Hill Township. The event has replaced the Living History Day.

“Last year was the first time that the rain got us,” said Sandra Forney, co-chair of the event.

The day will be filled with period crafts, from stenciling to making doll rags to washing clothes the old fashioned way.

Dolls will be crafted through strips of fabric.

“They’re just adorable,” Forney said.

A sandbox will be transformed into an archaeology pit filled with treasures from times past, such as arrowheads and shoe leather.

Oh, and the casual McDonalds Happy Meal toy.

“What we’re trying to teach the kids is, ‘Is this old?’” said Sevrie Corson of the Cherry Hill Township Recreation Department.

To add to the spirit of the day, the volunteers hosting the event will be garbed in period costumes.

The Thorne family built the farmstead in 1816.

“It was 168 acres at one time,” said Forney.

After being farmed by the Thorn family for nine years, another family, the Coopers, purchased the property for summertime use.

The farmstead was willed to the Cooper’s daughter, who married a Barclay, hence the present-day Barclay Farmstead.

Cherry Hill Township now maintains the house and grounds, which have slimmed down to about 30 acres, with the help of the non-profit group, the Friends of Barclay Farmstead.

The farmstead is no stranger to the area’s children.

“They are closely linked with the school system,” said Forney.

Educational programs are one of the primary purposes of the home, and every fifth-grader in Cherry Hill Public Schools makes the trek for a tour by historic interpreters and a blacksmith, she said.

“I should say, an award-winning historic tour,” she added, pointing at a sign visitors see as they enter the house.

The public will be able to enjoy one of those free tours through the home during the historic day.

In addition to the house itself, there is a forge barn where a blacksmith will do a demonstration and an adjacent recreational area.

For the rumbling stomachs, Springdale Farms will be on hand to provide baked treats to purchase, said Corson.

“They’ve been partnered with us for years over that as well,” she said.

But one of the crowd favorites, though not the driest, suggested Forney with a smile, is the washing basin.

“We wash clothes in a basin with soap and water and hang them up on the line,” she said.

Whirligigs, stenciling projects and writing with quill pens will delight youngsters.

“We’re going to make the ink first,” said Forney.

Butter will be churned, spinning with a loom will be practiced and bonnets will be created.

“There’s so many other things like that,” said Forney, to represent what it would have been like to be alive during the 19th century.

“There’s a tremendous amount of history here,” said Corson.

Make It Historic

Make It Historic at the Barclay Farmstead will be held on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It is a rain or shine event and admission is free. The farmstead is located at 209 Barclay Lane, Cherry Hill.

Call (856) 488–7886 or email Info@BarclayFarmstead.org for more information.

Visit the farmstead online at www.BarclayFarmstead.org.

Holiday House

Holiday House at Barclay Farmstead will be here before you know it. Head to the farmstead on Friday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18 from noon to 5 p.m. for a simpler celebration of the holidays.

For additional details, call (856) 795–6225 or email FarmsteadPrograms@yahoo.com.

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