Be transported to the 1800s when the Thiebaud Farmstead and Musee de Venoge, two of Switzerland County’s National Register sites, join forces on Saturday October 7, 10am-5pm & Sunday October 8, noon-5pm, for the annual Rural Heritage Tour. From domestic arts to period pastimes, the Rural Heritage Tour offers an up-close, personal and interactive experience with the early life, music and trades of the French-Swiss settlers who made Switzerland County, Indiana their home. Bring the whole family: the kids will enjoy interacting with costumed reenactors (especially the kids), playing period games, music and learning to dance.

kids at Rural Heritage Tour Bring the Family!

Musee de Venoge at 4085 Hwy 129, one of the few remaining examples of French colonial architecture in Indiana*, will be busy with a variety of autumn tasks.

cider making Venoge Sample the Fresh Pressed Cider

Big favorites are tasting cider fresh pressed from local apples, hearthside cheese making and baking pies/breads in the outdoor bake oven. And…you get to taste these goodies (I heard they are making deep fried doughnuts!) throughout the day as they’re being prepared.

Venoge interior A Busy Kitchen!

pie baking Venoge Delicious!

Period music lends merriment to the day.

demonstration Venoge Music Making - Literally!

Visitors will learn to make their own moth repellant from herbs from the Venoge kitchen garden. On Sunday, midday, take a tour of the property, learn about the history of the house and find out about future plans including the construction of a new barn.

The Thiebaud Farmstead, 5147 East State Road 56, an 1850s Greek revival home, is the center of family activities.

Thiebaud Farmstead Thiebaud Farmstead

They’ll be engaged in daily tasks and enjoyments, including hearth cooking, quilting, spinning, sewing and laundry (you will gain a new appreciation for your washing machine).

spinnng Rural Heritage Tour Domestic Arts!

demonstrator Rural Heritage Tour Laundry Day

Participate in children’s games of the time, toss a few horse (mule) shoes, learn about flatboat construction and more while enjoying the period music.

wroking forge at Rural Heritage Days Demonstrations

A working forge and one of the only working hay press barns in Indiana (this is a big deal – patented in 1843 in Switzerland County, it’s 3 stories high and powered by mules/horses/oxen) will be demonstrating both days and rumor has it that the farmstead is firing up the smokehouse for the first time.

hay press Thiebaud Farmstead Working Hay Press

Hay Press Hay Press Barn

“Forget-me-not” Cottage Dancers will be visiting both sites on Saturday, providing appropriate dance for the two time periods (Venoge c. 1820, Thiebaud c. 1860). Wear your dancing shoes! Period musicians will be performing both days at both sites.

dancing Rural Heritage Days Kick Up Your Heels!

This is a fun (and educational) fall event for all ages. You really do have the opportunity to get up close, interact with the reenactors/demonstrators and enjoy a new experience.

rural heritage tour Rural Heritage Tour

Both sites are easy to find, the Thiebaud Farmstead is just a couple of miles west of Vevay on SR 56 and Musee de Venoge is roughly a mile west of Vevay on SR 129. A map is available at each site to direct you to the other. $2 admission each site, children under 12 FREE

BONUS EVENT: The Thiebaud Farmstead and Musee de Venoge celebrate a Country Christmas on Saturday, December 9, 10am-4pm. Costumed reenactors, tours, demonstrations, period music, stories and refreshments.

country christmas Venoge Country Christmas, December 9, 2017

Interested in the hay press? Check out another working hay press at O'Bannon Woods or watch the video.

*Take a trip to Vincennes for more French influenced architecture.

*photos courtesy of Musee de Venoge and Switzerland County Historical Society