Visitors enter the Museum through the signature red horse barn: the home of power for both farming and transportation during the late 1800s. A constant video stream of agricultural history is displayed in one of the stalls. The exhibits in the red barn are changed seasonally. Visitors will see a different display. The red barn is made possible through contributions from Morton Buildings and White Walnut Farms.
Beyond the red barn, visitors enter the teaching center which includes a second video viewing area, a guide to the current exhibits, and a gallery of smaller exhibits. For example, the gallery displays a copy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s History of American Agriculture from 1776 – 1990 and two of the U.S. Geologic Survey’s early 1990’s Geologic Atlas related to Illinois coal resources.
Monsanto Exploration Hall
The next room contains the exciting ” Monsanto Exploration Hall” where children of all ages work with interactive exhibits about technological advances related to corn and soybeans. The changing dynamics of rural populations, yields and other key events over the decades are also shown. And, America’s Farmers receive a tribute for their role in making the world a better place. The Museum thanks Monsanto for making this exhibit possible.
The next exhibit highlights the important role “The Doctor” played to advance the quality of life in rural Illinois. Physicians were frequently the most educated members of the early communities, and they played important leadership roles in government and other areas.
A 1900’s Dentist Office will take visitors back to the day when one could understand why people did not like to go to the dentist.
A general store shows the role early retailers played in satisfying the needs of early farmers and residents. Without these early risk takers, progress in rural Illinois would have been very slow.