Har-Ber Village Museum Annual Pioneer Days 2022


by Roger Due [9-25-2022].

On Sunday, 9/25/2022, I drove about 2 hours to the Har-Ber Village Museum (4404 W 20th St, Grove, OK 74344) 10th Annual Pioneer Days Festival. There are about 100 exhibits on 6 acres representing from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. There is a lot more to see than what I've shared in the following photos.

Bill Caldwell: Har-Ber Village Museum exhibits rural life in 1800s [9-30-2022] This excellent article describes the history behind Har-Ber Village. Here are a few excerpts from this article:

Harvey and Bernice Jones didn’t intend to create a museum back in 1944 when they purchased land along the shores of Grand Lake of the Cherokees. But building a chapel led to one building after another, and before long it had become Har-Ber Village.

The couple had purchased property on Grand Lake in 1944 for a summer home. There was no thought of it becoming anything more. Twenty-four years later, Harvey built a little brick chapel along the shoreline. It wasn’t an ornamental structure but a place for worship complete with pulpit and pews. The church “looked all alone and lonesome with nothing around it,” they said. So they commissioned a 10-foot marble statue of Christ, imported from Italy, to stand before the church.

After it was in place, one day as the couple were walking near it, Bernice told Harvey, “You know we ought to do something about the old hillside.” So began Har-Ber Village. It officially opened on Sept. 20, 1968.

Harvey and Bernice Jones dedicated their lives to using their wealth to benefit their community. Now 54 years old, Har-Ber Village Museum reaches a community far larger and far beyond what was the Joneses’ summer home.

Their hope for the museum is expressed in the inscription on the bell tower. It says, “A sincere effort to preserve for future generations the way of life as experienced by our forefathers who carved out of the wilderness this wonderful country we know and enjoy today.”

Har-Ber Village in Grove is on the eastern side of the Neosho River viewing Monkey Island in the distance.

One room school houses were common in those days. Notice that the children had hard benches to sit on & a chalk board for writing & an American flag in the classroom.

Notice the GALLOWS on the right of the bank.

Read the article on the right & notice the connection between taxes & moonshine.

Here are a few farm implements from those times. Realize that most family farms were small & horses were used.

The young fellow on the left belongs to one of the local Indian tribes. He pointed out that there was no written language in the older days. Stories were used to educate the people & were passed down through the generations. He told an interesting story that contained relevant information for that time & used appropriate body language to emphasize various points. I enjoyed chatting with him.

If you wanted your clothes, sheets, table clothes, etc. nicely pressed, you had to heat the iron up on the wood stove or over the fire. How many women today remember going to the beauty parlor to get their hair curled like the lady on the right?

Families depended upon a fireplace and/or a wood stove for heating & cooking. This also meant that it was necessary to have a constant supply wood that each family was responsible for getting. The family often had to cut the trees down & chop it to fit in the stove and/or fireplace.

The lamp on the table burns kerosene, as does the heather on the right. There was no electricity, running water, or bathroom in these homes.

Here are some of the tools used to cut down trees, cut them into smaller logs, & split them for burning in the house. When I was a kid growing up on a dairy farm in southern Indiana, I used many of these tools to help cut down trees & prepare firewood. Our farmhouse was heated by wood burning stoves, even when I graduated from high school. Dad also purchased a gasoline powered chainsaw that saved a lot of time & sweat, although I no longer remember how old I was when it was purchased.

The Singer sewing machine on the left is identical to the one my mom use for many year to make a lot of our clothes & mend them. Notice that it was powered by your feet on the pedal at the bottom.

Those are all kerosene lamps.

Photography & the phone have come a long way since then. We had a telephone similar to the 3 big ones at the bottom. It was connected to a "party line" where everyone could hear everything if they picked up the receiver. Each family had a special ring, like "2 shorts & a long" to identify who was being called. If you wanted to call someone other than those in the neighborhood, you had to ring the switchboard operator & ask her to connect you.

The combine on the left is an older version of one we used on the farm to combine wheat, rye, or soybeans. We had a newer version of the baler on the right for making hay or straw bales.

Notice the pulley on the red machine on the left. A belt would be hooked to a tractor & then the machine would be used to chop/grind food for the cattle that was blown into the wagon. That is a horse drawn manure spreader on the lower right. The farmer would load the wagon up with manure from the barn & then the conveyor would slowly move it to the end where beaters would distribute it onto the field for fertilizer. Of course, houses in those days didn't have indoor plumbing, so an "outhouse" like the one shown above was necessary. That's what we had the entire time I was growing up on the farm. The upper right shows a potato plow that goes under the row of potatoes & brings them to the surface for easier collecting.

Many families used a hand pump to get water for all of their needs.

On the left we see that clothing was washed in this tub. The ringer in the back would squeeze out most water & then the clothes would be hung outside on a clothes line to dry. Everything was done by hand. The "washing machine" on the right uses a hand powered agitator.

We had a tub on the farm like the one on the left. I remember an electric washing machine similar to the one on the right. My mom then got an electric washing machine for clothes inside the house. I was the oldest of 9, so the washing machines got a lot of use.

After a hard day of grinding & pressing various fruits for cider, it is time to rest with a game of chess. My brother Bob pointed out that the green machine on the right with the big wheel is a corn sheller. While turning the wheel, you put dried ears of either popcorn or field corn in & it separates the kernels from the cob. Once Bob identified it as a corn sheller, I realized that it looked similar to one we had on the farm, although I think ours was red.