A Focus on Farming
2004 found us shifting our attention to the rich agricultural history of this town, dating back to the 1700s. Again we asked for help from the townspeople, and packed Seven Hearths to the rafters with farm tools, books, toys, photographs and other memorabilia. The Kent Center School children were once more invited to tour “A Focus on Farming,” and were awed by the wide variety of strange looking tools used by Kent’s farmers.
Many of our elder farmers stopped by and enjoyed chatting with visitors about their lives. It was a bittersweet summer for many in Kent, as we realized that this way of life, so long central to every waking moment, has all but vanished. We ended the summer vowing to continue our examination of the rural way of life.
A collection of milk cans was set up to resemble an old milk platform. Two graceful grain cradles hung from the wall. A cheese press, corn cutter, milking machines, ice saws & tongs, a wagon jack, tobacco bale stencil and many other tools of the local farming trade filled the two exhibit rooms to overflowing.
Scattered throughout the exhibit were farm photographs and excerpts from a 1918 four volume Encyclopedia of Farm Knowledge, all illustrating the theories and use of exhibited tools. Finally, at one end of the room, there was a “What’s It?” contest, in which visitors were asked to identify 5 somewhat obscure farm implements displayed in a corner.