While the mill and house are open year round, several times a year events are hosted at this Missouri State Park. The video below is but a sampling of the many activities that took place yesterday.
Part of the reason we went is because we consider it a vital training session for our farm apprentices. There is a lot of intrest in self-sufficiency these days, and the Watkins were experts in it---by necessity rather than by choice. Between the visitors center displays, the house, and the many demonstrations, you can see just what it took to live in those days.
Of course to really understand it you would have to cut ice in the winter and store it in your icehouse; spend all day Monday washing clothes by hand; help to slaughter, butcher, cure and smoke 65 hogs at a time; tend to a large vegetable garden and orchard; and many other demanding tasks. Much of it was at times drudgery, so we visit to make sure the romantic shine isn't the only thing seen when wishing for the past.