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updated: 6/29/2014 6:16 PM

Kline Creek Farm offers old-fashioned patriotic fun

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  • Roger Koteckr sings 1890s patriotic music Sunday during Kline Creek Farm's old-fashioned 4th of July event.

       Roger Koteckr sings 1890s patriotic music Sunday during Kline Creek Farm's old-fashioned 4th of July event.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Seasonal staff member Peggy Kuo watches as Becky Reidy, 10, of Roselle tries out a pair of stilts Sunday during Kline Creek Farm's old-fashioned 4th of July celebration.

       Seasonal staff member Peggy Kuo watches as Becky Reidy, 10, of Roselle tries out a pair of stilts Sunday during Kline Creek Farm's old-fashioned 4th of July celebration.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Mia Rosado, 9, of Carol Stream plays with a hoop and stick, just as children in the 1890s did. Historical games were just part of the fun at Kline Creek Farm's old-fashioned 4th of July celebration this past weekend.

       Mia Rosado, 9, of Carol Stream plays with a hoop and stick, just as children in the 1890s did. Historical games were just part of the fun at Kline Creek Farm's old-fashioned 4th of July celebration this past weekend.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Children play old-fashioned baseball Sunday during Kline Creek Farm's 4th of July celebration.

       Children play old-fashioned baseball Sunday during Kline Creek Farm's 4th of July celebration.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Old-fashion 4th of July

 
 

The lack of an air-conditioned place to retreat and absence of many sights and sounds of the modern world put attendees at Kline Creek Farm's 4th of July celebration in a true, old-fashioned patriotic spirit.

Guests at the West Chicago living-history farm over the weekend had a chance to participate in a variety of activities that Americans in the 1890s would have to celebrate the nation's birthday.

That included a game of old-fashioned baseball, children's games like stick and hoop and jump rope, historic demonstrations and a short ceremony that would have been very similar to a town's Fourth of July celebration more than 120 years ago.

"It's always great to see kids getting involved," said historical interpreter Lindsay Rice. "We really push for interaction with the public here to achieve education."

On Sunday afternoon, children could be seen running through a field, chasing a handmade, tissue paper hot air balloon. Families also strolled along the farm's paths, stopping to look at the gardens and animals.

Rossella Cantore of Bloomingdale said she did a Google search for local, free kid-friendly events taking place this weekend and came across the Fourth of July celebration.

"It's beautiful," she said, adding that it was her first time on the farm. "It's educational. I recorded a lady telling us about the house, when it was built, the farm."

Red, white and blue bunting hung from a fence that wrapped around the farmhouse and an American flag waved in the warm wind as people dressed in 19th century attire sang a few of the country's unofficial national anthems. That included an immensely popular patriotic song from the 1800s called "Hail Columbia," which is now the official song of the vice president, demonstrators said.

Linda Lenell of Yorkville said she enjoyed hearing the Declaration of Independence read aloud in its entirety by a costumed demonstrator in between the songs.

"I had really never heard that. You hear the main points, but you never really hear the whole thing," she said. "It's pretty impressive when you think about what they had to endure back then."

Children and adults stood and proudly sang along to "The Star-Spangled Banner," including a not well-known second verse.

To finish off the event, three costumed women churned a simple ice cream in the shade of a tree and shared it with guests. The process, they said, takes about 45 minutes on a hot day.

They said ice cream was a "very special treat" that may have only been served once a year on a farm like Kline Creek. Often, they said, that day may have been on the Fourth of July.

"It's fun for people to get a different appreciation for things we take for granted now. Things that people would have viewed completely different back then," said demonstrator Amy Caponigro.

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