Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Nurses of Hutchinson, Kansas and Timberlane Farm Museum

Today I was a participant in a really nice day.  I was invited to present my program America's Last Soldiers and Their Wars to a reunion of nurses that all graduated from the Nursing College in Hutchinson, Kansas.  The ladies travel to Loveland, Colorado to get together at one of the ladies' homes.  

I was scheduled to speak at 2pm, but the hostess invited me to come at 9am and join them in their visit to the Doll Museum at Timberlane Farm Museum.  This little known jewel is located at 2306 First Street in Loveland, Colorado.  It was a delightful trip into the past and it was a chance to see a wonderful collection of  beautiful and authentically dressed dolls.  The costumer was present and gave a wonderful biography of each doll.  They each represent a special lady of the Loveland area, and each in different eras, from 1860 - the early 1900's.  The premier spot is taken by a doll named "Margaret Osborne".  She is the lady of the house as she and her husband founded Timberlane Farm in 1860. You can see several of the dolls in the picture showing the vintage organ.

We entered the brick farm house through the back porch.  My first thought was "Oh good, a wooden screen door!"  How I miss the sound of a real wooden screen door as it slams shut.  We sat in the dining room as the Doll lady told the stories of each doll and described their dress and accessories.  The beautiful hand work and beading is a work of art.  After the talk we were able to examine the dolls closely.  That is when I could really appreciate the exquisite bead work. 
After the doll session we were invited to tour the house, upstairs and down.  The quiet and calm atmosphere of the house is a special environment that is missing in our busy modern lives. It is a pleasant trip back to simpler times, not easier BUT simpler.  Finally we stepped outside and gathered for a few minutes in the beautiful back yard under the magnificent Cottonwood trees.  There are many picnic tables for visitors to use.  Teri Johnson, the curator, invited us to visit the tool shop and the other outbuildings.  The tool shop was a special treat to me as this is the place I feel very comfortable, among tools, parts, and lathes.  A grandson of the founders lived on the home place and he was a very inventive man that made many pieces of furniture and accessories in this shop.  His home was across the lane from the brick house and we toured this dwelling as well.  This house was built in the early 1900's so it had more conveniences than the original farmhouse.  I loved the squeaky wooden floors.  Another sound not heard today.

This is a wonderful working farm museum right in the middle of Loveland.  If you want fresh eggs you can buy them here, at the cartetaker's house.  You can read more about this museum at  I can tell you that it is a wonderful step back in time.  There will be an event there on Saturday, October 13, 2012.  A blacksmith will be firing up the forge and there will be many demonstrations of how things were done on this farm.  It should be well worth the time to see.
We returned to the home of the hostess and had a wonderful lunch.  It was such a gorgeous day we all went out on the deck and ate and visited.  To offset the doll program, my presentation was perhaps a bit more of interest to the husbands present.  Although they were all good sports, and sat through the doll stories.  A favorite subject of mine has been the last American veteran of each war.  With the passing, in 2011, of the last WWI veteran I finally got busy and prepared my program. After sitting through two programs in one day, some were ready for a nap, yours truly included.  
It was a special day and I felt welcome by the group.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world.  Why? Because it reminded me of an earlier day when people got together with no agenda, no motions to be made, no meeting to keep in order --- just to be together.  

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