My family and I recently visited one of my new favorite woodworking destinations: The Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia (see the above video). We planned to stay 2 hours, but stayed 6. I loved my visit and the historical tools and furniture so much that I went back a week later to interview the head furniture makers. So I’ll be sharing several upcoming videos & photos from my two visits. Some of them will focus just on the furniture.

Frontier Culture Museum

The Frontier Culture Museum is  unlike anything I’ve encountered. The organization has disassembled actual period farms from England, Ireland, Germany, Africa, and different parts of the United States, then reconstructed them on several hundred acres of lush Virginia farmland. Why? To educate Americans on how our American farms were influenced by immigrants from overseas. You can see the different farms here.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

What I found particularly fascinating was the woodworking tools and furniture displayed at each of the 10 farms. The staff actually use the respective tools to construct furniture and tools (like the below shaving horse). It is a hands on “museum” so I just helped myself to all the amazing tool chests! The staff didn’t mind. They also didn’t mind that I constantly caressed their reproduction furniture either…although I got some strange looks.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

This fellow (below) grew up in the big city but longed for a job that would give him a taste of a simpler time. He glowed as he showed me some of his woodworking projects, especially his mostly-completed shaving horse:

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

 

I felt so refreshed by my time on these farms!

I’ll be sharing a series of these workshops & tool chests, so make sure you subscribe to have my future articles delivered to your inbox.