Mark your calendar for the City of McHenry's annual Colby-Petersen Farm celebration on Sunday, June 26, at 4112 McCullom Lake Road, one mile West of Route 31. Co-sponsored by the McHenry Farm Bureau and Colby-Petersen Farm Foundation, admission and all activities are free.
This year's event has the theme "A Hundred Years Ago Today," with artifacts and exhibits showing McHenry County farm life in 1916. There will be hayrides, farm animals. music and children's games. Everyone may try milking McHenry's life-size fiberglass dairy cow replica "Cowleen," as it was done on dairy farms long ago. Visitor will see crafts, textile demonstrations, blacksmithing, a farm garden and farm equipment displays. Newly displayed this year will be an operating 100-year-old steam-powered tractor. Children can use an old wringer washer to wash clothes and hang them out to dry. "Miss McHenry" of 2016 and her Court will be introduced.
The 1862 farmhouse parlor, kitchen and garage will be open for tours, with period furniture, photographs and kitchen equipment on display. The Farm opens at 10:00 a.m., with entertainment and activities concluding at 4:00 p.m. Local merchants will sell refreshments. Free parking is available on the adjoining grassy field.
The Farm was formed in 1842 and acquired from the Colby and Petersen families by the City of McHenry for preservation of our agricultural heritage. With its outbuildings and oak savannah, it will become an agricultural museum and resource center. It will promote tourism within our area and preserve the flavor of life in McHenry County in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The Colby-Petersen Farm Foundation has been established to assist in maintaining and developing the property.
The City of McHenry Landmark Commission supports development of the Farm and also helps to implement the historic preservation ordinance through education, guidance and technical assistance to building restoration projects by McHenry property owners.