Friday, March 6, 2009

Welcome to Johnston Farm

In a letter dated Monday February 16, 1846, John Johnston wrote to his son-in-law Jefferson Patterson stating, "I long for the spring when I can go abroad in the open air...."

I think we can all identify with that.

The staff at the Piqua Historical Area and Johnston Farm is looking forward to the upcoming 2009 season. We hope you will come and visit, and enjoy all the site has to offer. This blog will be the place to find out what is happening at our site. Within the next few weeks we will be posting our hours and a list of our 2009 events. Look for thoughts from the site manager and blog entries from our staff on topics ranging from ancient mounds to just how a lady dyed her hair in 1828. There will be posts regarding John Johnston and his family, as well as his dealings with the Indians. And we might even throw in a few recipes for dishes that would have brought all 15 Johnston children running to the supper table.

Anyone feel like a nice dish of pickled beef?

History is a precious thing. It teaches us about the past, but also about our present selves and the future. For both adults and children, it provides a way to put current events in perspective. We are all aware of the country's current economic woes. This site, like other historic sites all across America, is facing hard times. So are the wonderful people who support and visit us. At the moment, the future looks anything but promising. But did you know that this is not the first (or the second or third) time America has faced such a challenge? History shows us there is hope.

The following are John Johnston's words from January of 1840, written to his son, Robinson:

The time, as it is called, is becoming more and more critical. The produce of our farms no longer yields us an equivalent for our labour. There is no money. No confidence. Every kind of business is prostrate. Credit blasted. The very foundations of society is unsettled by the unwise and wicked legislation of ignorant and incompetent men. Here in Ohio our condition is most deplorable. The banks which possess all the available capital of the state are unable to loan a dollar to anyone. The credit of the state is annihilated. The progress of our canal and roads must be stopped. The most fearful prospect is before us. No man can tell how, when or where relief is to come from. Such is the effect of ignorance, presumption and folly being set up to rule.

John Johnston lived to see a brighter day and to take that walk in the open air. So will we.

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