Arts & Culture
1:17 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Whitewater Family Time-Travels Back to 19th-Century Immigrant Farm

  In today's fast-paced, technology-dependent world, have you ever found yourself wanting to go back to a simpler time, perhaps romanticizing what it would be like to live on a farm, making your own food, like our early pioneer settlers did?

Well, one family is about to get that chance - sort of.

The Ziolkowski family of Whitewater, Wis., has won Old World Wisconsin's "Life on the Farm Extreme" contest. This Saturday they'll be in full period costume, donning bonnets, straw hats and possibly wooden shoes, as they channel the lives of early German settlers working on a 19th century Wisconsin farm.

Mom Amy Ziolkowski entered the family in the extremely hands-on contest, which was open to all Wisconsin Historical Society members.

The Ziolkowski family of Whitewater, Wis.
The Ziolkowski family of Whitewater, Wis.
Credit Old World Wisconsin

Before they get their hands dirty this Saturday, Amy, dad Tom and daughter Ashley met with Lake Effect's Stephanie Lecci to talk about their expectations for the immersion experience. They were joined by Curator of Interpretation Jennifer Van Haaften - who filled them in on what chores they should expect they'll be doing.

But first, the family took a trip over to the laboratory of Period Clothing Coordinator Rachel Neubauer, where they learned what clothing is historically accurate - and what's not (ahem, no Crocs).

Members of the public can visit the Ziolkowskis during their experience on Saturday at Old World Wisconsin's 19th-century Koepsell Farm, located in the German area. They can also participate in their own "Life on the Farm" experience - albeit, a much less involved one.