Har-Ber Village Museum in Grove, Okla., has opened for its 46th season.

The pioneer-era village situated along the shores of Grand Lake, complete with Visitor Center and a gift shop called The Country Store, allows guests to take self-guided tours where they experience the area’s history and ecology as well as view collections of antiques and memorabilia.

Although Har-Ber Village Museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing our past, there are many new activities and features that will be unveiled throughout this year to keep the museum current.

Kids Cabin at Har-Ber Village

Pictured above, two young visitors to Har-Ber Village play inside the Kids Cabin, which is opened up to allow guests to “cook” on an old stove, sit at a treadle sewing machine, “churn” butter, sweep with an old fashioned broom and even climb up into the loft.

This season will feature not only major events each month but also special exhibit openings throughout the year.

The Print Shop will be opened up during event days to allow guests to try their hand at printing on a small letter press; the Military Exhibit, Presidential Room, Fashion Row and a new weaving exhibit have been updated and relocated. The Blacksmith Shop has been updated with a working forge, making blacksmith demonstrations possible during special event days.

With the help of grant funding from the Grove Rotary Club, visitors can now hear an audio description upon walking into select buildings like the Schoolhouse, Mercantile, Church, Print Shop and the Blacksmith Shop.

Another new feature this season is a newly designed 3-D color map that showcases Har-Ber Village in its various segments.  The new map was created by Kathi Sikorski of Signs by Sikorski and sponsored by Arvest Bank, Grand Prosthetics, Muscari Law and Bank of Grove.

Thanks to a generous grant by the George and Mary Corckle Family Foundation, Har-Ber Village will begin renovation this spring to turn the Machine Shed into a 3,000-square-foot Event Tent.

The covered and floored pavilion will create a space that can be utilized by numerous guests: community organizations looking for a beautiful setting to hold a meeting; covered space where large tour groups can eat together during a museum outing; or even a special event reception.

The monthly special events include:

  • Civil War Day in April, where re-enactors and volunteers will demonstrate the daily lives of soldiers and civilians during the era
  • Farm and Agriculture Day in May will feature tractors and gas-powered farm equipment and a sheep-to-shawl spinning and weaving demonstration
  • Cherokee Heritage Day in June celebrates the rich history of the Cherokee Nation.
  • The Independence Day Celebration in July will feature activities for kids like old-fashioned games, hand-cranked ice cream and a kids’ parade
  • The Ecology and Environment Day in August will allow local organizations to engage Village visitors with presentations about how humans affect the existence of the region’s habitats.
  • Families can dress up and bring flashlights to visit Har-Ber Village after hours during Historical Haunted Halloween in October
  • During November’s Pioneer Days, visitors will experience life as a pioneer with flax-to-linen demonstrations, soapmaking, candlemaking, hearth or campfire cooking, quilting and woodworking.

Har-Ber Village Museum closes for the season on Nov. 15, but will re-open on the weekends in December for Christmas on Main Street, where the Village is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with the help of community groups. Guests can view the beautifully decorated buildings, listen to performers sing and play carols, visit with Santa Claus, participate in a Gingerbread House Workshop and shop in The Country Store.

“These monthly events will feature many volunteers from as far away as Stillwater, northeast Kansas and northwest Arkansas to help bring history to life,” said Tim Field, museum educator. “We want our visitors to experience life as they would have in this region during the pioneer era. They will have the opportunity to see and even participate in hands-on demonstrations, hear period music, and perhaps even take home a craft during our special events.”

Several outlets for creativity will be featured all season with a variety of workshops for members. First Sunday Crafts will showcase a craft related to a different theme each month such as clay, macramé, or even Pysanky, which is Ukrainian egg dyeing.

Another monthly craft is the Quilt Block of the Month workshop with local quilter Sherry Rhoads.  Cost to participate is a $10 monthly program fee plus a $5-per-month pattern cost.  If participants wish to purchase the pattern packet in full upon registration, they may do so for just $24 and will then only need to pay the monthly $10 program fee.

Upon registering for the workshop, participants will receive all of the instructions for fabric choices to purchase fabrics in their desired colors.  They will meet on the last Saturday of each month from April to November to work on two blocks and will complete their quilts at the end of the Har-Ber Village season.

Although membership is required for these workshops, membership opportunities start at just $25 for individuals and $40 for dual membership. Family memberships provide free admission all season for two adults, which are ages 14 – 62, and up to 10 children. Upper level membership starting at just $100 provides added benefits such discounts on purchases at The Country Store, a link on the Har-Ber Village website and automatic enrollment in the North American Reciprocal Museum program and the Time Travelers program, which allows participants to receive free or reduced admission to more than 600 museums throughout North America.

The Weaver at Har-Ber Village, Jeannie Wheatley, will also host numerous spinning and weaving workshops throughout the season including special four-day weaving workshop with world-renowned weaver Jason Collingwood.

“We are excited about our upcoming season,” said Amelia Chamberlain, director. “We had a very successful season last year with our big events, and we have more volunteers eager to help us make these events even more interesting and hands-on to our members and visitors.”

No visit to Grand Lake is complete without a stop at Har-Ber Village.

Har-Ber Village Museum is open every day March 15 – Nov. 15. For more information about Har-Ber Village or for admission prices, hours of operation and a full events calendar, visit www.har-bervillage.com, call 918-786-6446 or email [email protected].

Spinning Demonstration at Har-Ber Village

Har-Ber Village Museum in Grove, Okla., opened for its 46th season. Visitors can experience history during a stroll through the pioneer-era village. The season will feature frequent craft demonstrations, workshops and exciting monthly events. Pictured above, Jeannie Wheatley gives a spinning demonstration in front of her shop, The Weaver at Har-Ber Village. Wheatley will demonstrate at each monthly event and will hold several workshops throughout the year including a four-day workshop with world-renowned weaver Jason Collingwood of London, U.K.

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