Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quiet Valley Living History Farm

Were he living now, Shakespeare no doubt would acknowledge this as a winter of practically everybody's discontent. One antidote may be to contemplate the excursions of the coming, hopefully glorious, summer.
How about Quiet Valley Living History Farm, 1000 Turkey Hill Road near Stroudsburg?
This 100-acre tract is owned by a non-profit organization which is dedicated to preserving Pennsylvania's agricultural heritage, especially in its Pennsylvania Dutch/German manifestation. It is a National Historic Heritage Site, and its fourteen buildings cover the time span from the farm's establishment in the 18th century to the early years of the 20th. It ceased being a family farm around the time of World War I.
It began, though, in another time of world war--the French and Indian War, fought on three continents between England and her allies and France and her allies. It is easy to forget, but Pennsylvania was a battleground in that war. The frontier--which in those days meant the entire province--had been ablaze for decades. When the Zepper family established what later became Quiet Valley--that was in the 1760s-- the conflict was in the process of winding down; but it cannot have seemed that way to people living on the far fringes of English settlement. This would have included the Zeppers.
The first house they built, carving it into a hillside, remains--but as a cellar for the storage of winter vegetables. Today's house was built onto it, and in its turn was added to.
Quiet Valley has special events around the year. You can even arrange for a special wintertime group tour--but you have to make reservations, and if you have been getting the full effect of the current winter, perhaps you will not be interested in leaving the house right now.
Summer is the real excursion time at the Farm--to be exact, from the third Saturday in June through Labor Day. Come and learn about the daily life of a family farm, meet animals ranging from draft horses to ducks and chickens-and even including the somewhat exotic salt-and-pepper colored, loud-mouthed guinea fowl.
There are many ways to get involved with Quiet Valley, beyond the occasional visit. You can become a paid member, take on an important volunteer job, even underwrite food for the farm animals.
Quiet Valley has an attractive and informative web site at For further information, phone (570) 992-6161.

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