Reliving History at Living History Farms

 Living History Farms Whether or not you’re a history buff, at some point you’ve probably wondered what it would have been like if you had been born in another time period. But we’re here to tell you that that doesn’t have to be just a daydream. Recreating historical lifestyles is exactly what Living History Farms, an outdoor museum in Iowa, is doing. With live people and lots of land, they’re completely redefining the phrase “history repeats itself.”

Living History Farms’ own history started back in 1970. The 500-acre interactive museum is located in Urbandale, Iowa. Since it’s founding, it has worked to educate, entertain, and connect people of all ages to Midwestern rural life experiences. Using both staff members and volunteers, different time periods are recreated to demonstrate a variety of lived lifestyles from the year 1700 to present day. Within this huge outdoor museum, visitors can view an Ioway Indian Farm from 1700, an 1850 Pioneer Farm, a 1900 Horse-powered farm and a small rural town dated 1875.

“VolunteerLocal has been such a gift.”

In the year 2016, we know how important agriculture is. These recreations of the past are a powerful wayLiving History Farms to enrich public understanding and to engage conversation about the significance of past and present issues in agricultural and rural life. The Living History Farms offer a safe (and not to mention gorgeous) place for individuals, families, and groups from all over the world to view change through time.

For Jan Milroy, Manager of Volunteer Services at Living History Farms, there are a lot of favorite times to enjoy. “I love our historic special events, such as suffrage debates taken from real historical documents between two women. Or our recreation of an 1850 pioneer wedding, including a dance and a special cake! Halloween nights are also a special opportunity for families to trick-or-treat safely, and allows them to view our museum and enjoy our uniqueness.”

“I strongly recommend this to others. I’ll never go back to my old system.”

Living History FarmsBefore switching to VolunteerLocal, Living History Farms was using somewhat prehistoric methods for scheduling volunteers. “I was spending hours upon hours emailing or calling potential volunteers. Often we’d go back and forth and they might end up not getting the slot they wanted,” says Milroy. “Having VolunteerLocal allows potential volunteers to decide on their own, whenever they want and how they would like to participate.”

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to make a change and view changes in time. Sign up now to help with Halloween night!

Photos courtesy of Living History Farms

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The Detroit (Rocks!) Marathon

Detroit Rock CitySome of us (we won’t name names) are old enough to remember when KISS came out with their hit song, “Detroit Rock City.” But Gene Simmons isn’t the only one that thinks Detroit rocks. As the lead singer says, “Get up, everybody’s gonna move their feet.” And that is exactly what our friends over at the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon have been doing.

In 1978 Neal Shine, the managing editor of the Detroit Free Press, watched the Falmouth Road Race and was overwhelmed by the event. He suggested that the newspaper sponsor a similar event in Detroit, where he knew such a race would benefit the city. And that was how things got (rock ‘n’) rolling, eventually growing into Michigan’s largest road race.

“We often like to refer to the third week in October as, ‘Detroit’s Marathon Weekend,’” says Leah Yanuszeski, Digital Director of the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon. “Meaning it’s not just an event for runners. It’s an event in Detroit, about Detroit, for Detroit.”

Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank MarathonThe marathon involves multiple distance events, including a marathon, half marathon, disabilities & relay divisions, 5k walk/run, and a Kids Fun Run. The course goes through many different neighborhoods, where residents come out to cheer and support the thousands of runners passing by. That foot traffic impacts the city economically, bringing in waves of athletes, family and friends to Detroit each year.

Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon

The all-encompassing event embraces participants not only from Michigan, but from across the globe. It also welcomes elite runners and casual walkers alike (it’s been called one of the 10 best events for first-time marathoners by Rodale Publishing). One of their secrets to managing that amount of activity? Volunteers.

Each year, the Detroit Marathon has over 3,500 of volunteers putting their best feet forward. And they’re all run through VolunteerLocal. “VolunteerLocal has kept our volunteer lists and information organized and handy,” says Yanuszeski. “It’s a great resource for our staff, and helps us to easily see how far along we are in recruiting volunteers each year.”

You might not be a fan of rock music, but few things rock harder than volunteers. Sign up to become a Detroit Marathon volunteer and get a free t-shirt, an invite to a post-race volunteer thank you party, plenty of free smiles and high-fives from the race participants, and more.


Photos courtesy of YouTube, Detroit Free Press, and Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon

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