Rural Missouri - August 2020 - 46

	 "We quickly found ourselves in desperate need of more
than one public restroom, so we added a recreational trail
with a bridge leading down to Willow Creek. That qualified us for a grant, which in turn, allowed us to build a
restroom facility by the trailhead," Gail says. "You really do
need more than one restroom if you have a group of 100
children here for the day."
	 According to Melissa, it's taken nearly 20 years to get
Poplar Heights to the state it's in today. This year marks
the 150th anniversary of the farm's homestead being built.
On Aug. 8 and 9, the farm plans to celebrate by hosting a
2020 Summer Festival. The celebration will include Civil
War re-enactors, loom weaving, lace and broom making,
wagon rides, stone masonry, blacksmithing, music and
food representing the 1800s.
	 Additional places of interest on the property include
the one-room Summit School from Bates County, built in
1884. Visitors can also see the 17-square-foot cabin built
in 1854 which served as home, as well as congressional office, to Bates County's William Oscar Atkeson. Other shops
open for special events are the Seelinger Mill, which grinds
and mixes grains on old-time equipment, the Threads shop
offering fiber art exhibits and a working blacksmith shop.
	 Maude's Mercantile carries sundries such as homemade
jellies, pickles, relishes and other canned goods along with
19th century home decor items to those who like souvenirs
from the time.
	 For those who love the outdoors, there are heirloom
vegetable gardens and a native prairie garden is available
for viewing, with trails crisscrossing the expansive fields.
	 The farm has also quickly become a wedding destination for those who wish to tie the knot under the 100-yearold tree in the backyard.
	 "We've hosted everything from fairy tea parties and
murder mystery dinners to creatures of the night sessions
and stories by lantern light," Gail says. "This is a fun and
educational destination for every age."
	 Poplar Heights Living History Farms is located seven
miles northeast of Butler. The farm is open April through
October; please call the office for hours of business.
	 To find out about upcoming events, follow Poplar Heights
Living History Farms on Facebook or check out the website
at www.poplarheightsfarm.org. The farm is located at 5250
NE County Road 5004 in Butler. For more information,
call 660-200-5620 or email poplarheightsfarm@gmail.com
Admission is $5 for adults, children under 12 are free.
Special pricing available for groups, customized programs
and day trips including lunch by appointment. Bus parking
available. Unless noted, special events are free.

1) Gail Tiller, program director and events coordinator for Poplar
Heights Living History Farms, show young visitors the eggs she just
collected from the hen house on the farm. 2) The John Seelinger family
home was one of the many buildings refurbished over the past 20 years
on the Butler farm. 3) Connie Cox and Gail Tiller talk about how the
inside of the one-room Summit School looked when Connie attended as a child. The school was originally built in 1884 and was recently
moved to the farm for restoration. 4) A group of young visitors pose in
front of the William Oscar Atkeson cabin located along the farm prairie.
Photo courtesy of Poplar Heights Living History Farms.

46

RURAL MISSOURI | AUGUST 2020

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http://www.poplarheightsfarm.org

Rural Missouri - August 2020

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