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Around The Grange
Historic Kelley Farm marks Farmer's Fourth

By Elk River Star News (7/5/10)

  JULY 5, 2010 --

The historic Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River celebrated a Farmer's Fourth of July with special events, including 19th century games and an lecture from the front porch.

A picnic lunch was held on the lawn, followed by a lively oratory and debate from the front porch and an afternoon horse-drawn trolley ride along the nature trail. 19th-century games and contests including Townball, the precursor to modern baseball, were played. Those in attendance enjoyed the company of family and friends along with the farm's costumed staff and celebrated the most important holiday in America in the 19th century.

Oliver H. Kelley and his wife Lucy began farming the land on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1850. Kelley was the founder of the first successful national farming organization, the Patrons of Husbandry, better known as the Grange. The Kelley Farm is recognized as "The birthplace of organized agriculture in America."

The working 1860's farm is located at 15788 Kelley Farm Rd., 2.5 miles southeast of downtown Elk River on U.S. Hwy. 10. It is a National Historic Landmark operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. For more information, or to make reservations for the workshops, call 763-441-6896.


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