September Means Sweet Teeth and Dirty Feet at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm

For immediate release

Release dated: 
August 21, 2013
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 •

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 •

Bob Quist • Oliver H. Kelley Farm • 763-441-6896 •

Quick facts: 

Place: Oliver H. Kelley Farm
Address: 15788 Kelley Farm Rd., Elk River MN 55330
Phone: 763-441-6896

September Means Sweet Teeth and Dirty Feet at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm

Get a glimpse of historic farm life this September with these two events at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm. The Mighty Ox Team Driving Workshop puts visitors in the shoes of teamsters, as they learn to work with an experienced ox team. Prairie Sugar Weekend is a chance to help process "prairie sugar." Learn about the process and taste the sweet results of the weekends work.

What: The Mighty Ox Team Driving Workshop
When: Saturday, Sept. 21
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $50 / $45 MHS members
Reservations required, call 763-441-6896

ox teamOxen have provided farm power for thousands of years. This workshop will teach the basics of ox driving and care. Visitors will get a chance to work with Toby and Colter, an experienced team of shorthorns who have a gentle nature and a measure of patience for new teamsters. Participants will learn how to yoke, properly command and drive the team.

Participants must be 16 years or older. Wear sturdy shoes, clothing for variable weather and bring a bag lunch.

What: Prairie Sugar Weekend
When: Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members

Join the Kelley Farm hands as they make prairie sugar, also known as sorghum molasses. Help strip the leaves off the sorghum canes, press the canes through a horse-powered press to extract the juice and stir the juice as it boils down to make a sweet, syrupy molasses. Then, enjoy a sweet treat of molasses confections such as gingerbread and molasses candy.

About the Oliver H. Kelley Farm

Oliver H. Kelley and his wife Lucy began farming the land on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1850. Kelley was the founder of the first successful national farming organization, the Patrons of Husbandry, better known as the Grange. The Kelley Farm is recognized as “The birthplace of organized agriculture in America.”

The working 1860s farm is located at 15788 Kelley Farm Rd., 2.5 miles southeast of downtown Elk River on U.S. Hwy. 10. It is a National Historic Landmark operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. For more information call 763-441-6896.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

This summer explore more than 500 museums statewide with the free Minnesota Museums app, brought to you by the Minnesota Association of Museums and the Minnesota Historical Society. Browse Minnesota museums by name, category or location; create an itinerary, check off museums you've visited and upload favorite museum photos; plus the app will also suggest museums based on geographic location. The Minnesota Museums app is made possible by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.