Seal of Caroll County, Maryland

Farm Museum

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Animals are an integral part of farming life. In the late 19th century, women and children would have cared for the small animals which provided fiber, meat, eggs, and milk for family use and household income. Farm Museum animals are housed in pens in the pasture area.


Sheep would be shorn in the spring when they no longer needed their warm, winter coats. The wool would be washed and carded (brushed) and then spun on a spinning wheel to make yarn. The yarn would be woven or knitted into clothing.


Geese were great gardeners. Farmers could let geese into their crops, and the geese would eat the weeds. At holiday time, the geese could be eaten or sold. Their down feathers were used to stuff pillows, mattresses (ticks), and blankets.

The farm family raised many varieties of fowl including chickens, bantams, turkeys, Guinea Fowl, and ducks. They all provided eggs, meat, and down feathers. Peacocks were a Victorian novelty raised for their beauty.


The typical farmer owned four or five pigs; and in the fall, when the weather turned cold, families would gather to share the chore of butchering. They would salt or smoke the meat to preserve it and make scrapple, chitterlings, and souse with the by-products. It was said that every part of the hog was used except the "squeal".


Because goats are willing to eat anything within the plant world, they were an asset to the farmer. They would clear brush, thistle, thorns, and other tough hearty plants from pastures so that other animals could graze. They provided milk for the family and some breeds, such as Cashmere, were raised for their fine wool that was woven into clothing and blankets.


Before steam engines, farmers used "horse power". They pulled equipment, powered machinery and provided transportation for farm families. The horses that graze at the Farm Museum belong to the Therapeutic Riding Program.