April Newsletter| Schumacher Farm Park
July 2015


It's a pleasure to update you on what's happening at the farm. As you know, summer and autumn are very busy times for the staff, volunteers and board since the majority of our activities occur during these seasons. The "Afternoon at the Farm" event series, held once a month during the summer, has been quite successful. Our Heritage Garden is thriving thanks to the Adopt-a-Row volunteers and the supervision of Ken Kokesh. Mike Shucha is working hard to keep the prairie in great shape. 


We recently hosted a meeting of the Dane County Parks Commission at the farm. Friends of Schumacher Farm board members Jim Ableidinger, Bob Forbess, and myself gave a presentation on our projects, restoration plans, and the upcoming capital campaign efforts. It is important to have these people visit Schumacher Farm, so they can experience what this historical farm is all about.


A capital campaign to create a visitor's center and a farm machinery museum is in the planning stages. We already have a beautiful and adequate red barn on our property, but the interior must be finished to provide the visitor's center, multi-purpose area and accessible indoor restrooms. In addition, a building will be built north of the center to display, renovate, and demonstrate our extensive collection of early farm machinery. The majority of the pieces are presently stored offsite, due to space limitations.


Please enjoy our new electronic newsletter to learn of our recent events and plans for the future. Letter continued below...

Summer News from Jennifer

It's been three months since the Board hired me and I must say there's been a whirlwind of activity. In May, twenty volunteers were out here on the third Sunday of the month hosting Afternoon At The Farm: A Celebration of Music. We had performances by "Milkhouse Radio" (a five-piece bluegrass string band), Sweet Allie Rose (with her banjo), and Tom Waselchuk (founder of the award-winning western swing band "Dang-Its").


In June, on Father's Day, we hosted another Afternoon At The Farm: An Ice Cream Social. This time we had a farm animal petting zoo, a strolling barbershop quartet and kite building/flying for everyone. We also had plenty of free ice cream donated by Schoep's. If you missed these events, don't fret, because on the third Sunday of July, we will host one more Afternoon At The Farm: Preparing For Harvest. Don't miss out as board member Bob Forbess & his crew, demonstrate winter wheat binding and former board member Steve Keip conducts walk-in heritage kitchen craft workshops!


All three of these "Afternoon At The Farm" events have been a warm-up as we all prepare for the Friends of Schumacher Farm's spotlight event, Heritage Fest 2015. This year it is a WHOLE MONTH EARLIER than usual! Please make note of the early date... Sunday, August 9thTell your friends! Tell your neighbors! Tell your cousins that always visit in August! If you are interested in helping us put on this event, we are looking for sponsors, volunteers and heritage vendors who can demonstrate your craft while selling your wares. If you'd like to be a part of this amazing event, please call 849-4559.


All my best,


Jennifer Harper

Park & Program Manager


Chicks Hatch at the Farm


Our wishes came true when our "broody hen", Blanche, hatched four baby chicks in June.  They're now locally famous after getting their own feature article in the Waunakee Tribune.  Click here to read the article, and come to the farm to see our newest and fluffiest chickens.


Window Restoration Complete
Upon discovering wood-rot around and in the window frame of the old barn's original front window, volunteer Aaron Harper & Schumacher Handyman Tim McConley began to make plans to fix it. To prepare, Aaron looked through old Schumcher photo albums and scanned a few pictures to get the historical accuracy. Tim then introduced him to the head of our Maintenance Committee, Jim Ableidinger, to discuss the project's cost and time frame. With Board approval they were ready to go!

Click on the photo of the bright and clear new window below to see the album of their work to make this big improvement to our barn!


Folk Art Spool Nightstand - Early Recycling

The 'spool nightstand' was created by Marcella Schumacher's mother, Eveline Busby Schumacher. This type of 'folk art' became popular in the early 1900's when homemakers began saving their empty thread spools. This nightstand is constructed of straight wood pieces for the two shelves and four legs. Eveline glued dozens of empty thread spools, both whole and cut in half, onto the wood and then covered the top with green velvet. "Antiques Roadshow" recently featured a more elaborate 'spool table' and they were excited to see it.  I like this item because it is a unique example of early recycling.

- Barb Johanningmeier, Volunteer Archivist

Schumacher Farm's Little Free Library

to the yard!


Todd Bol of Hudson WI, brought the Little Free Library phenomenon into being in 2009. His original plan was to develop 2,510 of them (or one more than the 2,509 public libraries supported by A. Carnegie). Six years later, there are more than 25,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide. Learn more at LittleFreeLibrary.org 


The Schumacher version of this project was conceptualized by Carrie Karls, Friends member since 2012, & championed by Rosa Ropers, Friends Board President, and built and painted by Tim McConely, our very talented handyman. It was then filled with children's books appropriate for ages 4-14, by Jean Elvekrog, an active Friends member since 2003 & Trustee of the Waunakee Public Library.


Schumacher Farm Park is proud to be a part of this pioneer educational movement. You're invited to come by the farm anytime for story time in the yard or to take a book home with you.


President's Letter continued...


Marcella Schumacher Pendall wrote in her book, Papa, Mama, and Me, "visitors to the farm can see life at the turn of the century - its emphasis on strong family values [and] develop a love and appreciation of the beauty and warmth of nature and absorb its very essence into their souls". 

I am offering you an opportunity to help preserve the rural farm traditions of our ancestors. Your commitment to the capital campaign will enable us to expand our school programs, workshops, space for restoration of antique farm equipment, exhibits and office space; the list goes on and on. If you would consider assisting us in this grand plan, please call me so we can discuss how you might help out.  A financial donation, in-kind services/materials, and/or volunteering for one of the different standing committees are welcomed. Please contact me at rosa.m.ropers@gmail.com or 608-260-5335.


With your support, we will soon have a Center For Rural History and a Farm Machinery Museum that will fulfill the desires of our visitors, staff, associates, barn/farm enthusiasts, historical enthusiasts, the Waunakee community, Dane County, and all others who care about preservation, restoration and education of rural heritage.


I hope to hear from you soon.



Rosa Ropers
Friends of Schumacher Farm

In This Issue
Quick Links
Fun at the Farm



The Friends of Schumacher Farm would like to say thanks for the following donations and volunteers:


Bequeathment in memory of Glenn Bakke submitted by Stuart & Shirley Woolley


Jim Treinen for donating his wagon to our events this season.


Ken Kokesh for his tireless work in the Heirloom Garden.


Waunakee Village Board for awarding us $1000 in Tourism & Community Betterment Funds for our "Ice Cream Social" event.


Pastor Leonard Allen of Christian Life Assembly of God who donated advertising space for us in this year's Garage Sale Days map-book.


The Rock River Trail Initiative (RRTI) who generously donated oak trees to D ane County Land & Water Resources, and thanks to Rhea Stangel-Maier, Dane County Parks Volunteer Coordinator, Schumacher Farm Park received about thirty of these young trees.


Rona Neri-Bergmann for her work as Friends photographer, workshop leader & communications team member.


Rich Trotta for installing a grape arbor on a cold, windy day in April.


Mike Shucha for his tireless work restoring prairie, leading work crews and planting white and burr oak trees.


All the volunteers who donated items and their time for Garage Sale Days and our Afternoon at the Farm events.


Workpants Wednesday


Started on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, 2015 as one of the Park & Program Manager's first initiatives, volunteers meet in the yard of Schumacher Farm to help out on various projects, every Wednesday (9a-12p). Everyone is welcome to join us!


Projects completed so far...

*Paint & build free little library

*Plant 100 tobacco plants for Heritage Fest demo

*Repair frame & paint original 1908 barn window

*Sand & paint windows on back porch of 1906 house

*Garden & yard work including trimming and weeding


Upcoming Projects...

*Repair & Paint the east wall of the granary

*Bind the winter wheat crop for Heritage Fest threshing demo

*Plant perennials around our entry sign


Save the Date!

HERITAGE FEST  is a whole month earlier this year!   Mark your calendars for Sunday,  August 9 at 12 PM .  You won't want to miss the music, games, pies, working antique farm equipment, horse & carriage rides and more!  We look forward to seeing you in August.

Who Is Sally?


Sally Schumacher's name has been discovered on several pieces of sheet music from the 1920's.  Barb and Rosemarie, our volunteer archivists, are trying to discover if she's related to Marcella and any other information about her.  If you know or can discover the answer, please email us.


If you'd like to volunteer to help us inventory or research artifacts in the online databases, please visit our website and submit a volunteer application.


Tools & Talent 


Materials, Farm Equipment, Tools & Talent - We need all of these to preserve our historic buildings. Schumacher Farm Park boasts the original home, barn and other buildings from the early 1900s.


If you're replacing wood from old farm buildings, have good quality used or new tools, or farm equipment you no longer want, we can make good use of your items.  Please click here for a specific list of items that can keep Schumacher farm in great shape for years to come!

Schumacher Farm Park | (608) 849-4559 | schumacherfarm@gmail.com |