Build a Bird Feeder Workshop and A Yankee Thanksgiving at Oliver H. Kelley Farm in November

For immediate release

Release dated: 
October 16, 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
Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.
Phone: 763-441-6896

Build a Bird Feeder Workshop and A Yankee Thanksgiving at Oliver H. Kelley Farm in November

Visit an 1860s working farm and home to Oliver H. Kelley, founder of the first successful national farming organization, the Grange. In November, visitors can explore what Thanksgiving was like for Kelley who grew up on the east coast before moving to Minnesota and participate in a workshop about farm wildlife.

farm in snow

What: Build a Bird Feeder Workshop
Date: Saturday, Nov. 9
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Fee: $10 per feeder, $8 for MHS members
Reservations: required, call 763-441-6896

Pay a visit to the Oliver H. Kelley Farm and see what effect the changing of the seasons has on activities at the working 1860s farm. In fall, birds are preparing for winter just like the farm hands. The Kelley Farm is home to dozens of varieties of songbirds including woodpeckers, orioles, blue birds and more. Participants in the workshop will make a bird feeder to take home. All materials and tools will be provided including instructions for mounting the feeder.

Kelley barn

What: A Yankee Thanksgiving
Date: Sunday, Nov. 17
Time: 2 p.m.
Cost: $7/$5 for MHS members
Reservations: required, call 763-441-6896

Oliver H. Kelley settled along the Mississippi River near present-day Elk River in 1850 after migrating from Boston at the age of 21. He taught himself to farm by reading agricultural journals and his farm grew to become a show place of the neighborhood. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the first day of Thanksgiving. Enjoy the aroma of Thanksgiving dinner in the Kelley farmhouse and experience a "Yankee" Thanksgiving as it would have been in the 1860s. Visitors can also hike the nature trails, meet the animals and explore the barn and root cellar. Visitors should dress for the weather. Warm refreshments will be provided.

About 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.

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.
About the Minnesota Historical Society

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.