Monday, May 23, 2011

Step back in time

You've wanted to do it-- to step out of modern life into the simpler, forthright past, just like Tommy Albright in Brigadoon. To a time when men were men and women were women and toilets were outdoors.

Okay, maybe not so much.

But you can step into the past, not only with Light Opera Works' upcoming production of Brigadoon, opening on June 4, but also at numerous living history museums scattered throughout the 5-county area.

If Brigadoon gives you an urge to step into the past yourself, try these wonderful local museums:

Graue Mill, Oak Brook
, an operating waterwheel grist mill and homestead, is "dedicated to maintaining a bridge between past and present generations in the belief that understanding our history is vital to our future. The Museum provides programs -- for school children and others -- that include milling, spinning and weaving and living history presentations, as well as artifacts which illustrate the way of life of area residents between 1850 and 1890 and the impact mills such as Graue Mill had on our culture."

Kline Creek Farm, DuPage Forest Preserve, where you can back in time and experience what life was like on a DuPage County Farm in the 1890s. You can visit restored farmstead structures and meet the historically-costumed interpreters operating this living-history farm using the tools and techniques of the past. Activities and events at the farm re-create the seasonal rhythms that have governed farm life for centuries.

Perhaps the best known local living history museum, Naper Settlement in Naperville portrays f 19th century community life based on the history of Naperville, Illinois.

Deerfield Historic Village in Deerfield has several buildings including the oldest house in Lake County, a mid-19th century farmhouse, and a one-room schoolhouse as well as antique carriages and farm equipment.

All of Illinois' history museums can be found on this Historic Museum Guide for Illinois.

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