The Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run is celebrating 40 years of operations in 2013. The living history museum and privately operated National Park portrays family life on a pre-Revolutionary War era working farm in Northern Virginia. Through interactive educational programs, special events, internships and more The Claude Moore Colonial Farm furthers understanding of everyday living and agriculture in late 18th century Virginia. Over 2,000,000 visitors across the U.S. and internationally have visited the museum and farm since its founding in 1973.
THE CLAUDE MOORE COLONIAL FARM was established by the U.S. National Park Service out of a need determined in the late 1960s that the lives of “common men and women” as well as agriculture were not well represented in the National Park system. The farm, which sits on 70 acres in McLean, opened in advance of and to meet anticipated interest in the Bicentennial celebrations. In 1980, the National Park Service was unable to fund all of its parks and, as a result, the NPS transferred the farm to private operation in 1981 under a cooperative lease agreement. The Claude Moore Colonial Farm is the only privately operated park in the National Park Service.
Said Margi Vanderhye, president of The Friends of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm Board of Directors, “We have invested more than $2 million in improvements to the farm over the last 32 years, including the upgrading of all infrastructure and addition of facilities to support the farm’s increased visitation. I am pleased that our educational programs are usually booked a full season ahead. We believe this demonstrates sustained interest in a valuable historical and cultural community resource.”
The farm offers more than 100 educational products for teachers, students and others. This year it also has rail splitting to provide true pre Revolutionary era fencing on the grounds and a new Woodland Husbandry program to catalogue native and invasive plants, said Claude Moore Colonial Farm Director Anna Eberly. The farm’s long term objective is to recreate on the site the authentic landscape of 18th century colonial Virginia.
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm provides self guided tours of the museum grounds, which include a Colonial era farmhouse with loft and working hearth, turkey and other animal pens, crop fields, orchards and more. The Farm also conducts educational events throughout the year, programs such as the history themed Environmental Living Series, internships and special events including three seasonal Colonial Market Fairs.
Eight full and part-time employees manage the farm’s administration, programs and services. More than 350 volunteers and 35 volunteer groups also contribute over 20,000 hours annually to support the farm. These include families, students, groups, retirees as well as individuals representing diverse careers from teachers to medical professionals to craftsmen and engineers.
ANIMALS IN RESIDENCE are heritage or rare breeds and include dunghill fowl chickens, cottonpatch geese, ossabow island hogs, dairy devon cattle and hog island sheep.
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm opened April 3 for the 2013 season. The Friends of the Farm Board of Directors will host a 40th anniversary celebration on July 11 for members of the farm, local dignitaries and other invited guests. Annual memberships, which provide discounted or complimentary attendance to events and programs, are available at www.1771.org.
Hours of operation: April 3 to Dec. 15, Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Regular admission: Adults, $3; children 3-12 and senior citizens, $2; children under 3 free. Contact the farm for group and special event admissions. Annual memberships are available.