News / USA

Claude Moore Colonial Farm Steps Back in Time

Claude Moore Colonial Farm Steps Back in Timei
X
November 28, 2013
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid