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Friday August 22, 2014
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"Christmas on the Farm"

 

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Suspicious of these apocryphal-sounding claims, I later found that "Sleep tight" comes from an old use of tightly to mean "soundly," and that the bedbug phrase is younger than the farmhouse. One website linguist sniffed that tour guides "constitute one of today's major 'vectors' or carriers of unfounded etymological 'urban legends'" — or rural legends.

Minor quibbles aside, I found lots to fascinate me: the attic with its bass drum from the erstwhile Waterloo Band, the cozy kitchen's huge cast-iron stove on which bean soup was cooking (free samples), and an artificial tabletop Christmas tree made of goose feathers dipped in green paint, with strands combed into pine-needle-like clumps.

Aside from the farmhouse, the site offers a spartan 1840s log cabin, icehouse, bake house, workshop, windmill, milk house, corncrib, and granary (now gift shop) to explore, all restored by volunteers. When the farmhouse was up for auction in 1960, it had rotting shutters, crumbling plaster, and a yard of waist-high weeds.

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