News / USA

Claude Moore Colonial Farm Steps Back in Time

Claude Moore Colonial Farm Steps Back in Timei
X
November 28, 2013 7:42 PM
On the outskirts of Washington, there's a place where it seems time has stopped. Claude Moore Colonial Farm is a U.S. national park in McLean, Virginia, which recreates and reenacts life on a tenant farm around the year 1771. The vast majority of Virginians at that time were tenant farmers, who grew tobacco to pay their rent and buy food. VOA’s Madeeha Anwar spent a day on the farm to learn more about American life at the end of the 18th century.
Madeeha Anwar
On the outskirts of Washington, there's a place where it seems time has stopped.  Claude Moore Colonial Farm is a U.S. national park in McLean, Virginia, which recreates and reenacts life on a tenant farm around the year 1771.  The vast majority of Virginians at that time were tenant farmers, who grew tobacco to pay their rent and buy food.  

When you visit the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, you step back almost two and a half centuries, to a time when this part of America was under British Rule.

Life was governed by the rhythms of agriculture. People worked from dusk to dawn - and in the colony of Virginia, spent much of their time growing tobacco.

The U.S. Park Service created the farm just before the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial celebration.  But facilities manager Jon David Engle says it’s now privately operated - unlike any other national park in the country.

“In 1980 the park administration decided that they could not keep the park going and the people who worked here and the group of the volunteers who loved the place so much got to get with the local congressman and worked out an arrangement with the Park Service," said Engle.

The park staff and volunteers portray the Bradleys, who represent one of the families who actually lived in this part of Virginia back in the 18th century.

They gather in the morning to get ready, change into period clothes and start their day.

Everyone has an assigned task. The women go to the kitchen garden where they plant crops for the coming season.

"Right now my girls are working in the kitchen garden. We got Martha the eldest and Sally the youngest. They are planting the fall crops. So things like peas, spinach and lettuce, all sorts of greens, radishes, cabbage that sort of things we are planting right now," said Heather Bodin.

Heather Bodin portrays farm wife "Lydia." She says the farm offers a unique experience for visitors, especially for kids.

"One of my favorite stories was the young man - little boy - who realized for the first time that the chicken that you eat comes from the animal chicken. He had only seen chicken in the packets in the grocery stores. He realized there's a moment where there's a light bulb off his head and you could see him saying chicken is chicken," she said.

The family gathers around the old wooden table for lunch and then Richard Bradley and the children head back to the tobacco field. He pays the landlord in tobacco - about 230 Kilos a year - to lease the land.  

"I must pay 500 pounds [227 kg] of tobacco to my landlord and that’s not a percentage and that’s a set amount 500 pounds. So, if I grow 600 pounds [272 kg], I only have a hundred pounds for me, if I grow 1100 pounds [500 kg], I’ve 600 pounds left over. So, that would be a good year and I could buy my wife any dress and so forth but tobacco must be inspected, it must be weighed, it’s very strictly controlled," said Bradley.

Twenty-first century visitors can experience the 18th century for a few hours, or get a real taste of everyday Colonial life by spending a weekend with the Bradleys. The Claude Moore Farm brings American history alive for hundreds of visitors each year.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid