The Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run, in McLean Virginia provides tremendous good for our community and our nation. We accurately portray the life of a poor tenant farm family in the year 1771. We represent this important time in our history by using re-enactors and junior interpreters on our historically precise colonial farm site.
The community saved the farm back in 1981 when the federal government could no longer afford to operate it. This industrious group of “friends” formed a not-for-profit organization, contributed money and countless hours of sweat equity to save the farm, and developed it into the gem it is today. We have served over two million visitors since our founding and continue to share the important humble roots of our democracy.
Educating visitors on the importance of agriculture and the history that led to our country’s independence is an essential part of our mission. We accomplish this through historically rich “learn by doing” programming and through interactive experiences for children and adults alike. Hundreds of public and private schools from Maryland, DC and Virginia participate in our programs throughout the year, and our educational impact is vitally important for thousands of 4th graders studying colonial history. We teach colonial farm skills, cooking, crafts, horticulture, food preservation, doll-making, edible plant identification, candle-dipping, meat-smoking, and more. Our Junior Interpreter program is a great way for young people to learn history by teaching other children, while wearing period clothing and helping on the farm site.
Thousands of international visitors from all over the world visit us and learn about how difficult farm life was back in the 18th century. This is especially meaningful to people from countries where labor intensive farming is still the norm and for all of us from farming families.
Individuals, families, and community groups support Claude Moore financially and keep the farm running smoothly. We also raise money from our gift shop, an annual estate sale, the pavilions at Turkey Run, and our rare and used book shop. Three times a year we host a colonial market fair that is attended by thousands. All of this is made possible on a lean budget thanks to our thousands of contributors, our dedicated volunteers, a wonderful community, and a brilliant and capable staff.
The farm is a fantastic value for the National Park Service and the American taxpayer. Over our 37 years in operation, the “Friends” have raised over $15 million dollars to support our operations. In exchange, the National Park Service allows us the use of federal land and has contributed $1.3 million over the years.
We are a prime example of a successful public/private partnership. Congresswoman Barbara Comstock and many others in Congress are being very helpful in ensuring the long-term survival of the farm, but we need your support too. Please support our efforts by going to www.1771.org/savethefarm and come visit us with your family.
Scott Monett is a long time supporter, volunteer, and board member of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm.