Ardenwood Historic Park is a family oriented, interactive park. It is part history, part petting zoo. It is educational and hands on… and oddly enough it is rather suburban. Nestled into the outskirts of Fremont, it is a mix of nature, farm, ranch, and suburbia. Its crooked horse and plow furrows are surrounded by the mechanically straight lines of modern tractors and plows, which are in turn surrounded by subdivisions and gas stations. It is a world unto itself with its horse drawn railroad.
The clang of metal on metal echoed dully from the blacksmith’s shop as we crossed the farm yard atArdenwood Historic Farm. Beyond the goat pens, crooked rows of corn converged in the distance. It was obvious that they had not been made by modern-day tractors. That could wait though, there were sheep to be shorn. Literally. Crowded around a large enclosure were people of all ages, watching a man in funny shoes as he clipped the fleece from a placid sheep. He had slowed his pace, just so the folks crowded around the fence could follow what he was doing.
People crowded the fence, watching a mix of history and modern country life occurring there before their eyes
The park is this odd mixture of tourists dressed in modern garb and weekend volunteers trying for a more period dress. It gives the place an odd juxtaposition that somehow feels comfortable… yet almost like a country amusement park.
The people give this place a vivacity as they interact with it, teaching young and old alike how it was in the day… the hard work mixed with the play. The machine separating the corn from the cob almost seems more like play to the folks that have never seen such devices before.
Ardenwood is fun, but with kids to learn with, it is even better.