The Farm Tour is a 45 minute guided walking tour of Stahly--Nissley--Kuhns Farm that dates back to 1873 and the original family that settled here. Since that time, the original farm has had several additions to include extra rooms added to the main house, barns and outbuildings. Today, it is the only Amish farm that is on the National Register of Historic Places (1990).
The tour begins with a brief stop in the orchard where fruit was grown and bee hives kept. As with all working farms, land and resources are used in a conservative manner so as to provide food for the residents and animals raised on the farm. We also viewed the small garden area, where the woman of the house grew herbs and vegetables for her family.
Near the house, there were three wood burning smoke house type buildings used to dry fruits & vegetables, cook baked goods and smoke meats. We also learned how the Amish made lye soap.
Inside the house, we were able to see how the Amish lived a simple and frugal lifestyle. Many of the furnishings inside were original to the property or genuine to the period from other local Amish farms. We learned how they stored and prepared food, as well as how large families with many children lived inside the main house. I was surprised to learn that on the property was another, smaller house called the "Grosdaddi House" where the grandparents would live out the remaining days of their lives on the family farm.
During our tour of the main house, we also learned about the Amish clothing and had an opportunity to see men's, women's and children's clothing up close. It was a very educational experience, one I would recommend to anyone interested in how the Amish live and go about their day-to-day lives.
Outside, visitors are encouraged to explore the various barns and other exhibits, some of which are original to this farm. The Schweitzer Bank Barn is the name of the type of barn and not the family name of the farmer. Bank barns are built so that the incline in the land topography provides easy access to the second story of the barn. This allows the farmer direct access by horse & wagon to store hay and other items upstairs while livestock can live beneath on the main ground level.
Throughout the side pasture area were a number of old farm implements dating back to 1910, most of which were used with horse drawn power.
The price for the Farm Tour is $12.95 ($4.95 children ages four to 11) and includes the Wagon Tour and two short documentary films shown in the Locke Meeting House. All three of these activities are also included in the PastPort which is available for $32.95 (adults)/$15.90 (children ages four to 11).