Steppingstone Farm Museum

Steppingstone Farm Museum SFM preserves and interprets the rural heritage of Harford County. Museum open Sat & Sun 11am-3pm, April through October. Office open Tues.- Fri., 9am-2pm.
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Grounds open year-round from 9am-sunset. "The Steppingstone Museum provides a necessary look into the past. It was founded that we shall remember where we came from that we shall be able to look intelligently into the future. It is dedicated to the men and women of the past century in this community who found that labor was honorable and satisfying to the soul; who found that craftsmanship, excellently performed, is the essence of art." -J. Edmund Bull, Founder

Operating as usual

06/28/2021

It’s time for your Monday Moment of Calm 😇 Enjoy the warm summer air out there!!

Vendors wanted for our Summer Fun Day event. We are looking for historical, art, handmade craft, and/or children oriente...
06/24/2021

Vendors wanted for our Summer Fun Day event. We are looking for historical, art, handmade craft, and/or children oriented vendors only. If you’re interested in learning more, email [email protected]. Please note vendor applications close July 2nd.

Vendors wanted for our Summer Fun Day event. We are looking for historical, art, handmade craft, and/or children oriented vendors only. If you’re interested in learning more, email [email protected]. Please note vendor applications close July 2nd.

06/14/2021

This weather has been quite damp but the plants wouldn’t want it any other way! 🌱 Time for your Monday Moment of Calm 😌

Art & Wine wine happening now until 8pm!  Tickets available on site at the Museum Mercantile gift shop!
06/12/2021

Art & Wine wine happening now until 8pm! Tickets available on site at the Museum Mercantile gift shop!

06/07/2021

It’s time for your “Monday Moment of Calm” brought to you by our chorus of singing cicadas! 🎶 Haven’t had a chance to experience all the noise yet? Come on out this Saturday from 4pm to 8pm for our Art & Wine night!🍷 Great vendors, music, and drinks on a calm June evening. Get your tickets now at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-wine-event-tickets-152731430821

We can’t wait to see you here!! 🤗🥂

05/31/2021

Happy Memorial Day!! It’s time for your “Monday Moment of Calm” 😌 Enjoy the beautiful weather and THANK YOU to all who serve 🙏🏻🇺🇸

05/24/2021

Happy Monday from us here at Steppingstone! It’s time for your “moment of calm.” Even though it’s raining, here’s a little bit of sun to start your week!

Our website and emails are down due to a technical issue. If you require immediate assistance, please call our office. W...
05/18/2021

Our website and emails are down due to a technical issue. If you require immediate assistance, please call our office. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Our website and emails are down due to a technical issue. If you require immediate assistance, please call our office. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

05/17/2021

Good morning Steppingstone fans, it’s time for your “Monday Moment of Calm!” Enjoy all that green out there 🍃🤗

Good Afternoon! Today we will be taking a “step-back” with Steppingstone to look at another one of our gentle giants her...
05/12/2021

Good Afternoon! Today we will be taking a “step-back” with Steppingstone to look at another one of our gentle giants here posted at the farm: our Hoosier Corn Planter!

When the first white settlers came to America, the natives introduced them to a new crop, corn, which could be consumed by both people and livestock. A farmer would work up a small area of soil with his hoe, drop in seed and cover it with his foot. As horse-drawn plows and tillage equipment were introduced, farmers could grow more corn for home use and livestock feed. However, planting methods remained nearly the same.

Since a corn seed is larger than a wheat seed and is planted in rows further apart and deeper, corn requires a different type of planter than wheat. When the corn jobber (a handheld planter) was devised, it was not much quicker than using a hoe. Unsatisfied, farmers looked for faster and easier ways to plant their crops with the basic design of the corn planter going back to the 1880s. A plow blade opened a furrow, a plate mechanism dropped down a specific number of seeds and a following wheel covered the seeds back up with dirt.

First came a horse-drawn grain drill to sow oats and wheat which brought about the idea for a horse-drawn planter. At first, that was a one-row affair that dropped seeds in a row as the contraption was pulled along. However, most farmers objected to the early horse-drawn planter. Next came the 2-row hand-check corn planter. This was a great improvement, but it took two people to operate the machine: One to drive the team and one to drop the seed.

This specific artifact is from the Hoosier Drill Company in Milton, Indiana which was started by John M. Westcott in 1858. He moved the company to Richmond in 1878 and in 1903, Hoosier Drill Co. became part of the American Seeding Machine Company. In 1920, American Seeding became the Richmond Unit of the International Harvester Company but during World War II, which produced war material instead of farm implements. The resulting factory closed in 1957.

05/10/2021

Back by popular demand, our darling little “chicken cam!” 🐓 Don’t forget to stop by say hi to our resident ladies and Sir this spring ✨

Good Morning! Today we are taking a “step back” to check out yet another one of our gentle giants here resting on the fa...
05/05/2021

Good Morning! Today we are taking a “step back” to check out yet another one of our gentle giants here resting on the farm. Sitting in the parking lot with its once menacing blade now covered in a protective plastic sheath, this machine is known as the McCormick-Deering No. 7 mower. Manufactured between 1929 & 1939, these side delivery sickle mowers were extremely popular in their time. Originally horse drawn, these have been modified to hitch to a tractor. Ground powered, in a heavy hay crop they required a fair amount of strength from the horses and were difficult to use when the ground was damp or wet, as the wheels were unable to gain traction. While the No. 7 was known as extremely successful, popular, and had a mower of an excellent design, the company came out with the No. 9 as well, a more consolidated version of the No. 7. Virtually the same, fans of the No. 7 would refuse to “trade-up” for the No .9 due to its well-tuned and sharp cutting power! As you can see below, this mower is missing its seat but the blade can be recognized from across the lot. Stop in today to check it out!

05/03/2021

Dreamy clouds on warm sunny days... what more could you ask for? ☀️ Enjoy your “moment of calm.” 😌

04/26/2021

Spring has sprung here at Steppingstone! 🌸 Enjoy your “moment of calm” 😌

Happy Wednesday! It’s that time to take a “step back” with Steppingstone! Today we are taking a look at “American Stonew...
04/21/2021

Happy Wednesday! It’s that time to take a “step back” with Steppingstone! Today we are taking a look at “American Stoneware.” These containers were a type of stoneware pottery popular in 19th century North America. The predominant houseware of the era, it was usually covered in a salt glaze and often decorated using cobalt oxide to produce bright blue decoration. The vernacular term "crocks" is often used to describe this type of pottery, though the term "crock" is not seen in period documents describing the ware. While salt-glazing is the typical glaze technique seen on American Stoneware, other glaze methods were employed. Vessels were often dipped in Albany Slip, a mixture made from a clay peculiar to the Upper Hudson Region of New York, and fired, producing a dark brown glaze. Albany Slip was also sometimes used as a glaze to coat the inside surface of salt-glazed ware (Like seen above!) While decorated ware was usually adorned using cobalt oxide, decorative techniques such as incising were also used. Potters occasionally substituted manganese or iron oxide for cobalt oxide to produce brown, instead of blue, decorations on the pottery. A significant percentage of American Stoneware was signed using maker's marks and, much more rarely, incised signatures. Many pieces can be attributed to particular makers based on the cobalt decoration, clay body, form, etc. The gallon capacity of the vessels was often denoted using numeral stamps or incised or cobalt oxide numbers or hash marks applied in freehand. Large crocks like this are incredibly hard to come by due to their size and that the number “80” on the side means that it stored 80 gallons! The largest crocks made at the time were 60 gallons and could be found in stores, for institutions or on the farms of very large families. HOWEVER, the 80 gallon ones were made (as you can see above) and they were made for a rather specific purpose! For example, in large hardware stores, they would use these crocks to store chemicals needed for research, cleaning, distilling water, and other liquids that were in high-demand. They were also found in hospitals and universities to store food stuff for the masses of people.

This is from Dr. Lori who runs an antique appraisal site and has a Ph.D. in the field:

“Identifying the origin of antique stoneware crocks is also based on decorative elements added to a crock. For instance, flowers, birds, butterflies, animal figures, dragonflies, and organic designs are commonly added to the crock in a blue glaze that originated in central Pennsylvania. The cobalt blue colored glaze found on some stoneware crocks is sometimes referred to as Dauphin glaze for its origin in Dauphin County, PA near the state capital of Harrisburg, PA.

Stoneware crocks were used in the process of lacto-fermentation. Farmers and cooks alike would place prepared vegetables (like cucumbers or cabbage) in the stoneware crock and put a weighty lid on the mixture. Microbes like mold would be kept out and carbon dioxide would escape the crock over a period of a few weeks resulting in pickled veggies like pickles or sauerkraut.”

04/19/2021

Happy Monday!! It’s time for your Moment of Calm 😌 Spring is in full-bloom here on the farm and we would love for you to come check it out! 🌸

Sorry for being a bit late to the party today but it’s time to take a “step back” with Steppingstone and check out this ...
04/14/2021

Sorry for being a bit late to the party today but it’s time to take a “step back” with Steppingstone and check out this beautiful feat of engineering! 🤩 The icebox (also called a cold closet) were compact non-mechanical refrigerators, a common early 20th century kitchen appliance used before the development of powered refrigerators. Before the modern fridge came about, iceboxes were referred to by the public as just plain old "refrigerators." Only after the invention of the modern day electric refrigerator did the early, non electric refrigerators become known as the “icebox.” The more traditional icebox dates back to the days of ice harvesting, which had hit an industrial high that ran from the mid-19th century until the 1930s, when the refrigerator was introduced into the home. Most municipally consumed ice was harvested in winter from snow-packed areas or frozen lakes, stored in ice houses, and delivered domestically. In 1827 the commercial ice cutter was invented, which increased the ease and efficiency of harvesting natural ice! This invention made ice cheaper and in turn helped the icebox become more common. Up until this point, iceboxes were used for personal means but not for mass manufacturing. At the moment, Steppingstone has two of these beauties on display. Swing by during our open weekend to see if you can see them for yourself! ❄️

04/12/2021

Happy Monday!! It may be a little gray today but Steppingstone is here to help with your Monday Moment. 😌 We hope you all have an amazing week! 🤗

04/08/2021
Happy Wednesday! It’s time to take a “step back” with Steppingstone 🤗 This week we are taking a look at these cast-iron ...
04/07/2021

Happy Wednesday! It’s time to take a “step back” with Steppingstone 🤗 This week we are taking a look at these cast-iron pots! Cast iron pots have been made for centuries. Prior to plumbing for running water in the home, many families had large cast-iron pots that they used outside for everything from doing laundry, to cooking, and making lye soap. (Callback!) Mothers would fill the pot with water drawn from the well and then build a fire underneath the pot. The pot could serve as a laundry center one minute, then after being cleaned out and re-seasoned, used to cook large quantities of food the next! Minor changes in the casting process over the years produced minor differences in the pots which make it possible to estimate when they were made. One can easily tell how old the pots are by looking at the markings on their undersides and their handles. As casting techniques were refined, changes were made in the way the iron was poured and the manner in which the pots were ground and finished, making newer pots smoother and more uniform-looking. The oldest pieces, made prior to the mid-1700s, will have a circular "sprue" mark on them. The sprue is the point where the foundry worker poured the molten iron into the mold to make the pot! Observe whether a long, thin line on the bottom of the pot called a "gate" mark is present. Pots with gate marks were made from the mid-1700s until the late 1800s. These massive cast-iron pots were once a common household item, but now are most often seen in someone’s front yard with flowers planted in them! (Just in time for spring!) 🌸🌷

04/05/2021

It was a beautiful day on Saturday, perfect for opening the museum! Thank you to all who came out to kick off the season with us! 🤗🥳 In the meantime, here is your “Monday Moment” with Truffles the cow!!

03/29/2021

Happy Monday! A friend of ours made an appearance for this Monday Moment 🤩 We hope to see all of you make an appearance this weekend for our Opening Day! 🥳 See you soon 🤗

03/29/2021

Happy Monday! A friend of ours made an appearance for this Monday Moment 🤩 We hope to see all of you make an appearance this weekend for our Opening Day! 🥳 See you soon 🤗

We would like to thank all of our volunteers who came out today to help during our Clean Up Day. We had an amazing turn ...
03/27/2021

We would like to thank all of our volunteers who came out today to help during our Clean Up Day. We had an amazing turn out and the ground look fabulous.

We would like to thank all of our volunteers who came out today to help during our Clean Up Day. We had an amazing turn out and the ground look fabulous.

Happy Wednesday! Today, we are going to take a “step back” and admire this absolutely gorgeous (and recently repaired) S...
03/24/2021

Happy Wednesday! Today, we are going to take a “step back” and admire this absolutely gorgeous (and recently repaired) Singer Sewing Machine! This artifact has been hiding in our archives but was recently restored by one of our amazingly talented volunteers in an effort to restore and maintain every artifact in our collections. (Restoration experience? Shoot us an email!)
Anyway, let’s get into the history!

The Singer Company launched their first “Vibrating Shuttle” style in 1885 which was available as a hand-cranked, or treadle powered, sewing machine. Due to their sheer weight, most were sold mounted in tables or cabinets but they also sold hand crank machines, which came supplied in a small wooden case, making it more like a piece of luggage than a piece of furniture! Early cases were known as mahogany “coffin lid” cases while later ones were dubbed as oak “bentwood” cases (like the one you see here!) These machines could have electric motors added that were small enough to fit under the original wooden cases. The faceplates fitted to early models were polished plain plates, while later models, like the one here, are embossed with a “grapevine” pattern.

**This particular machine seen here was made in 1935, based on the faceplate design and its model number!**

Vendors Wanted! Recently married? Are you looking to empty your house of all that wedding décor? We have the solution. J...
03/23/2021

Vendors Wanted!

Recently married? Are you looking to empty your house of all that wedding décor? We have the solution. Join us at our upcoming Wedding Showcase. Tables are only $10!

Unload all of that leftover décor at once at our Wedding Yard Sale. Register for a table today at [email protected]

Vendors Wanted!

Recently married? Are you looking to empty your house of all that wedding décor? We have the solution. Join us at our upcoming Wedding Showcase. Tables are only $10!

Unload all of that leftover décor at once at our Wedding Yard Sale. Register for a table today at [email protected]

03/22/2021

Happy Spring!! 🌸 It’s time for your “Monday Moment of Calm” brought to you by our cute (but shy) snowdrops! 🥰🌸

03/22/2021

Happy Spring!! 🌸 It’s time for your “Monday Moment of Calm” brought to you by our cute (but shy) snowdrops! 🥰🌸

Recently married? Are you looking to empty your house of all that wedding décor? We have the solution. Join us at our up...
03/19/2021

Recently married? Are you looking to empty your house of all that wedding décor? We have the solution. Join us at our upcoming Wedding Showcase. Tables are only $10!

Unload all of that leftover décor at once at our Wedding Yard Sale. Register today at [email protected]

Recently married? Are you looking to empty your house of all that wedding décor? We have the solution. Join us at our upcoming Wedding Showcase. Tables are only $10!

Unload all of that leftover décor at once at our Wedding Yard Sale. Register today at [email protected]

Hello and Happy Wednesday! It’s time to “step back” with Steppingstone and take a wild guess at what this is! (Stick aro...
03/17/2021

Hello and Happy Wednesday! It’s time to “step back” with Steppingstone and take a wild guess at what this is! (Stick around I’m about to explain 🤓) This plain looking stone actually served a very important purpose in keeping households back in the day. Any guesses yet? Here’s the answer: a lye stone! 😱 While it may seem ancient at first glance, these stones can actually still be used today. Each stone has a circular groove carved into the top surface which was used to collect the liquid lye. Lye stones were generally made from hard rocks like granite or gneiss. While these stones can often be mistaken for “cider stones,” you can tell the difference by the size of the groove on it! Since lye flows at a slower rate, the groove is shallow for easy access and cleaning as well. 🧐
Edit: (additional info)
Lye (aka Caustic soda or sodium hydroxide) is a strong alkali that is used in soap making, among other things! In order to actually make the Lye, wood ash was collected from the household fireplace and mixed with soft/rain water in a barrel above the stone. The resulting mixture pours out of holes in the bottom of the barrel onto the lye stone, falling into the grooves and collecting in another bucket below. These stones were normally raised off the ground by other stones but modern days you find them as “steppingstones” (no-pun intended 😂) or additions to stone paths. Lye was manufactured on a small scale for domestic household use, as a local cottage industry, and even on a commercial scale. The majority of farms in America produced their own lye which was used to make their own soap!

Hello and Happy Wednesday! It’s time to “step back” with Steppingstone and take a wild guess at what this is! (Stick around I’m about to explain 🤓) This plain looking stone actually served a very important purpose in keeping households back in the day. Any guesses yet? Here’s the answer: a lye stone! 😱 While it may seem ancient at first glance, these stones can actually still be used today. Each stone has a circular groove carved into the top surface which was used to collect the liquid lye. Lye stones were generally made from hard rocks like granite or gneiss. While these stones can often be mistaken for “cider stones,” you can tell the difference by the size of the groove on it! Since lye flows at a slower rate, the groove is shallow for easy access and cleaning as well. 🧐
Edit: (additional info)
Lye (aka Caustic soda or sodium hydroxide) is a strong alkali that is used in soap making, among other things! In order to actually make the Lye, wood ash was collected from the household fireplace and mixed with soft/rain water in a barrel above the stone. The resulting mixture pours out of holes in the bottom of the barrel onto the lye stone, falling into the grooves and collecting in another bucket below. These stones were normally raised off the ground by other stones but modern days you find them as “steppingstones” (no-pun intended 😂) or additions to stone paths. Lye was manufactured on a small scale for domestic household use, as a local cottage industry, and even on a commercial scale. The majority of farms in America produced their own lye which was used to make their own soap!

Address

461 Quaker Bottom Rd
Havre De Grace, MD
21078-1329

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:00 - 14:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 14:00
Thursday 09:00 - 14:00
Friday 09:00 - 14:00
Saturday 13:00 - 17:00
Sunday 13:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(410) 939-2299

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Comments

Cannot access vol meeting no zoom link
This month features the beautiful Steppingstone Museum in the Red Planks of Harford County calendar. One of my favorite photos I shot!
Just went on grade 2 field trip the kids had so much fun loved it
Can you tell me about the Rural Heritage event? I don’t see it listed in your events.
Going to the steppingstone with grandkids today if anyone wants to join us there.
I'm so happy to have been married at one of my favorite places ~ Steppingstone is amazing!
Here it is
Sure wish you folks would reconsider your decision to stop the Blues and Wine Festival! We attended for many yrs and been to a few this yr but none stand up to yours! 😞😞
Thanks for a great day! We will definitely be back for another visit!