By Kathleen Swift
Har-Ber Village in Grove, Oklahoma, has a schedule full of distinctive events planned for this spring. The living-history museum has taken on a new look in the past few years as it transitions from static displays to more interactive, living history.
“We want to make the displays in our pioneer village more active,” said Nicole Reynolds, interim executive director and manager of programs, events and marketing. “Our displays and artifacts are important in educating younger generations about life in the past, but it’s important that we show people how those artifacts were used in the past. Through our living-history presentations, we can show how our ancestors lived.
“For example, one of our most popular exhibits is our telephone exhibit, which is a walk back in time. We have phones from the beginning to the iPhone. As years pass, younger generations don’t see how phones or other artifacts were used, and through living history, we can show them how things were used every day.”
April will kick off with Ecology Days at Har-Ber Village, which will focus on everything to do with farming and ecology. “We have an antique tractor collection, and we will have other antique tractors here, too. We will showcase beekeepers and local farmers. The GRDA, Grand River Dam Authority, and Blue Thumb, a conservation organization, will be here. We will have modern ecological methods demonstrated alongside historical uses of the environment,” said Reynolds.
“Friday will focus on bringing in schools and home schoolers. There will be kid stations available, and we make them as interactive as possible. For example, kids can plant tomato seedlings with a master gardener and take the plants home to grow their own tomatoes. It is always our hope that at some point, our displays encourage people to go home and grow a garden or make some soap or use something from the old ways that can enhance life today.”
April 22-24 will showcase the Civil War era at Har-Ber Village. Reynolds explained, “We will have 175 demonstrators here. Not only will we reenact Civil War battles, we will include the city and township raids that took place. The Civil War was more than big battles, so we want to show how that war touched the lives of people, especially women who were left behind to make ends meet while the men were off fighting. During that time, many women became seamstresses and weavers. Life was full of hardships. Our living history that weekend will show the whole spectrum of Civil War life, from the soldier to the sutlers and tradespeople to the everyday life of women.
If you enjoy history or want to experience history come alive, make Har-Ber Village a part of your weekends this spring. And, to support the museum, consider becoming a member of the Har-Ber Village Museum.
You can join at https://har-bervillage.com/memberships. Benefits for all levels include free admission, reduced rates for programs and workshops, and e-mails highlighting current information, events and activities.
Schedule of Events
April 8 & 9: Ecology Days – Event to focus on the earth and indigenous nature.
April 22, 23 & 24: Civil War Era Historical Days
May 14, 15 & 16: Mountain Man Rendezvous – An historical representation of the mountain men and native Americans during the 1700s and 1800s.
May 28: Memorial Day Event
May: TBD Murder Mystery
June 2022: TBD