Fall 2018 Newsletter| Schumacher Farm Park
 Dear Friends of Schumacher Historical Farm,  

What a whirlwind of activity this year at the farm, as we've been making preparations for new opportunities while maintaining the quality of our existing events and programs. The Center for Rural History is well on it's way to completion and the farmhouse path and granary building both received improvements to better receive visitors.  With help of volunteer groups, we did some supplemental planting of sugar maples in the sugar bush and installed native shrubs along the farmyard perimeter to enhance screening and wildlife habitat. Individual volunteers continue to preserve the integrity of the natural areas and farmyard setting. Our charming chickens are always well tended and even got a small extension for a chick nursery this year. Workshop volunteers and part-time summer staff focused on the advancement and refinement of educational programs. 

Organizational structure also received some attention recently. We've been working on a new and improved look to the website that will be easier to navigate. For updates to membership, take a look at the 'Membership Highlights' on the side column of this newsletter.

Our programs and events greatly benefit form the many talented and generous people that contribute to this organization. This year, we began to assess community outreach strategies and our ability to reach a diversity of community groups. Members that are interested in marketing and communications are encouraged to join this committee. Contact the park office for the next discussion.

All in all, it's been another wonderful year of making memories with ongoing farm companions, friends and new acquaintances. Thanks to you all, I'm continuously learning about Schumacher history and farm culture, and these conversations help me process thoughts for future initiatives and resources.  As with the cycling of the seasons, the end of every year brings lessons to reflect on and ambitions to strive for in the next year. I look forward to doing it all again in 2019.


Amy Jo Dusick, Park Administrator

Center for Rural History Progress
Progress inside the CRH.  (Photo: Jim Ableidinger)
  Work is progressing on the Center. As of Nov. 7th, we even had heat, just in time for the cold weather.  Occupancy date is yet unknown . The indoor bathrooms  and electrical still need to be finished, the kitchenette cabinets, new windows, doors and AV equipment need to be installed, and the sprinkler system water pump needs to be tested. Due to rainfall in October, the yard has been rough-landscaped, and the exterior of the barn will be painted in the spring along with the finished-landscaping.
Friends of Schumacher Farm will be installing additional insulation in the exterior walls, once permitted to be in the building. The Madison Community Foundation donated $3,500 to go towards ash lumber that is being kiln-dried, planed on one side and tongue & grooved. The Friends will then stain the lumber to match our existing interior and install it over the additional insulation. The interior will be mainly wood in keeping in character with the rough beams and cedar boards that are there now.  
We welcome volunteers with CARPENTRY AND/OR STAINING SKILLS to help us finish the final steps of the interior. Give Jim Ableidinger a call at 576-7111. Work to begin sometime in December.
-Jim Ableidinger, Grounds Committee Chair 

Fall Events Recap
Mad City Jug Band  
Heritage Fest
Heritage Fest 2018 experienced another successful year with perfect weather. Visitors were entertained by the uniquely classic jams of the  Mad City Jug Band and a spunky barn dance band. Many of the popular demonstrators and exhibitors were present again; quilters, loom weavers, old-fashioned ice cream, apple cider and sausage press, woodworking, and bee keeping. Additional exhibits this year were the pig oilers, antique fire engine, and broom crafting. The woodstove was humming in the historic farmhouse, baking cookies and bread made from wheat grown here on the Schuamacher farm fields. Guests followed the sound of the whistle to an antique threshing demonstration and enjoyed freshly steamed corn by the 1930's steam engine. And no one could resist the goats and rabbits and chickens that are always part of the fun. 
Always enough goat cuddling to go around. 
Visitors try their hand at woodworking (above) and  ringing the bell on old-time fire engine (below). 

Check our new website, to be launched by Dec. 1, for the full album of  wonderful photos from the event, taken by Rona Neri-Bergmann.

Family Halloween
The weather for Halloween this year was much more cooperative than the previous year and we welcomed over 800 visitors to the event that evening.
Kids' games, spooky stories, fortune-telling, witch-house, s'mores and music by Boo Radley were the main activities until about 6 pm, when the haunted hayrides commenced. Once again, the volunteer spooks and spirits were in top form to entertain the guests and we were happy to have such great energy and creativity as part of our event.

Event coordinator, Angela Webster, commented that people were grateful for such family friendly events being offered in the community and all enjoyed the calm and nostalgic setting of the park.  

Technicolor fox by Gay Straight Alliance of Wauankee High School. (Photo: Trudi Leder) 
Tattered clown in the prairie by WHS Pay It Forward. (Photo: Trudi Leder)
Although we found ourselves  a little short on volunteer help for certain areas during Halloween, we were still able to provide all planned activities and the event was packed with lots to offer to guests. Many thanks and kudos to participating volunteers for their assistance.  We antici pate delivering a few new and exci ting features at H alloween next year, while serving it up with the same friendly farm park charm. If you're all about Halloween, consider joining us in the fun next time!

  Please note the side panel for 2018 event sponsors.
-Amy Jo Dusick, Park Administrator and Angela Webster, Event Coordinator
Board of Directors Informational Meeting

There are currently nine board of directors serving on the Schumacher Farm Board. Each year at the annual meeting in March, an election is held for three board members. You are invited to an informational meeting about the Friends' Board of Directors role and responsibilities. Join us for a cup of tea as we discuss the Schumacher Board's activities and how you might enhance the work that is presently being done. 

This gathering will be held at the seasonally decorated Schumacher farmhouse on December 18 at 5:30 PM

Please call board president Rosa at 608-260-5335 or the Park Office at 849-4559 by December 14 and let us know you will be coming.

-Rosa Ropers, Board President

Holiday Table Traditions: Jell-O & Fruitcake  
Greater Jell-O Recipe Book
Who has memories of fruitcake and Jello-O salads at the holiday dinner table? I certainly remember them, and although I never put much on my plate,  I did appreciate the color and festive feel they brought to the table decor. My grandparents grew up eating these creations and enjoyed them enough to include a version (or two!) in all our winter holiday meals.

The Greater Jell-O Recipe Cookbook came out in 1931 to provide people with an array of dessert ideas which were easy, quick and economical for the Depression Era family. Most recipes incorporated dried fruit from the pantry, nuts and even marshmallows in the molds, which brought a bit of culinary elegance to the farm table. Lime-flavored Jell-O was one of the flavors introduced around this time. Can you guess the other five flavors of the era?

Although hard for us to believe now, candied fruit and nuts were a special treat for most rural people at the time and fruitcakes typically contained both of these foods. The popular 'Dollar Fruitcake' recipe of 1930 uses rum as an ingredient, which helped to preserve the cake. The longest preserved fruitcake on record was 106 years old! A true historical marvel.. "fruitcakes are made to withstand the test of time." (Rikki Rosenberg). Whether a treasured tradition or long-running family whimsy, people continue to revive memories of these dishes during the holiday season. Enjoy, whatever the case may be for you!
In This Issue
Quick Links
Board and Trustees
Artifact Corner:
What is this? and a Wish List

Mystery artifact. Side view.

Mystery artifact, top view. (Photos: Barb Johanningmeier)

What's this? Any guesses to what this piece of equipment was used for and is it possibly missing a part?
Send us an email guess and we'll enter all the correct answers in a drawing for 2 free tickets to our annual Heritage Fest in 2019. If you'd like to take a closer look, stop up at the farmhouse during regular office hours. Answer will be in one of the next newsletters!
The Accessioning Committee and the Machinery Committee have their own wish lists this season focusing on artifacts from the 1920's - 1930's. Take a look to see if you can donate any of the items listed.

  • 1920's - 1930's tabletop radio (in good condition)
  • Toys 
  • Dolls
  • Old glass milk bottles in various sizes (gallon, half- gallon, quart, pint)
  • Buck rake
  • Silo filler
  • Side delivery rake
  • Ensilage cutter
  • John Deere B tractor
  • Manure spreader
  • Rock crusher
  • Baler
Please contact the park office at (608) 849-4559 for an artifact submission form, to be filled out prior to acceptance.

The committee is also still looking for white,100% cotton sheets of any size.

-Barb Johanningmeier, Accessioning Committee
Homecoming Special Visit

The Waunakee High School Freshmen class held their homecoming dinner at the farm this past September. They did an incredible job of decorating the historic Schumacher barn and a large adjoining party tent. Over 200 guests were present, with students, parents and chaperones. We were thrilled to be part of the celebration.

Schumacher barn during the homecoming celebration. 
(Photo: Jim Ableidinger)
Garage Sale Welcomes Treasures

Schumacher Farm Volunteers will hold their annual garage sal e during Waunakee's garage sa le days in May. We welcome your trea sures that you no longer want and appreciate the opportunity to recycle and reuse any items that you might want to donate. 

Please put aside items that you no longer want for our sale. Your donations in the past have helped make our sale very successful.
All proceeds will  be used to enhance our historical collections.  
Please call  the office if you have

-Rosa Ropers, Board President
Friends members!
Every Friends' membership level increased this year... individual, family, partner and sustainer. The largest member level increase in 2018 was the partner level - 
an 82 percent increase! Thank you for sharing the good news with your neighbors and inviting them to join you on the Farm!

The conversion to a calendar-year type of membership will be completed in December. Member dues paid now, and all renewals, will be for the calendar year 2019. Renewal notices will be sent in December. 
When renewing for 2019, please consider the many benefits of increasing your level of membership from individual to family, from family to partner, or partner to sustainer. Continue to increase your enjoyment and regular participation at the Farm!

-Ray Ropers, Finance Committee

2018 Event Sponsors & Special Acknowledgements
We are grateful to the generous sponsors that supported our events this year and were involved in making these events remarkable and memorable. 
**Thank you to all!**
Bluegrass Music Festival

American Transmission Co.
Town of Westport
Village of Waunakee Tourism Grant

Ace Hardware
State Bank of Cross Plains
Thrivent Financial
Vienna Tourism Commission
Waunakee Lions Club
Compeer Financial
State Farm 
Van Go Taxi, Inc.
Buzzy's Lake House

Heritage Fest

American Transmission Co.
Anonymous donors

Edward Jones
Jim & Jean Elvekrog
Kelley's Market
Thrivent Financial
Waunakee Community Bank
Waunakee Lions Club
Village of Waunakee

Special mention:
sweet corn: Butch Koltes
steam engine: Mike Spahn
threshing prep: Jim Becker 
kettle corn: Rotary of Waunakee
American Transmission Co.
Edward Jones
Kelley's Market
Thrivent Financial
Waunakee Community Bank

Village of Waunakee

Special mention:
Waunakee Village Center 
WHS Gay Straight Alliance
WHS Pay It Forward
All photos, except where credited to others, provided by 
Rona Neri-Bergmann of 
Upcoming events:
Christmas Teas  (Dec. 1st & Dec. 2nd)  *as of 11/20: wait list only

Holiday Crafts with Nature  (Sat., Dec. 8th)

Snowshoeing with the Full Moon   (Sat., Jan. 19th)

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