PIQUA — Long before Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine videos, children still managed to find ways to entertain themselves. Even those growing up in 19th century farm country took breaks from their chores to just be kids.
What did they do during their down time? What kinds of games did they play? Learn the answers to those questions at Johnston Farm & Indian Agency’s annual Family Day, which takes place from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
“A lot of folks, when they picture people living out here during the Johnston era, they don’t realize kids did the same things they do today. They didn’t work all the time,” said Andy Hite, site manager of Johnston Farm.
“So we decided to let people see how kids and their families would pass the time when they weren’t working — before the days of holding something and using your two thumbs to pass the time.”
The farm and homestead will come alive with a variety of games and activities enjoyed by families during Johnston era, plus visitors can enjoy a relaxing ride on the General Harrison of Piqua canal boat.
A highlight of the day will be the official opening at noon of a new exhibit by the Eastern Shawnee that shares their story from their removal in 1832 to the present. Written materials, graphics, regalia, clothing, and other artifacts will be on view.
“We want (visitors) to understand that the Native American population are people with a past, but they are not people from the past; they still exist,” Hite said. “It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time; so may exhibits stop with the Removal period.”
Eastern Shawnee Chief Glenna Wallace will attend the opening of the exhibit, which is the second in a planned series of six displays focusing on Ohio’s Native American history. Last year’s exhibit featured the Miami Nation.
The cost to attend Family Day is regular site admission, which is $9 for adults and $4 for ages 6-12. Children under 5 are admitted free, as are members of the Ohio History Connection and the Johnston Farm Friends Council. One-dollar discounts are available for senior citizens and AAA members.
As an early Father’s Day gift, dads and grandfathers also will be admitted for free when accompanied by their families.
Johnston Farm & Indian Agency is located at 9845 N. Hardin Road, off State Route 66 about 3 miles north of Piqua. For more information about Family Day and other Johnston Farm offerings, call (937) 773-2522 or (800) 752-2619, and visit the website at johnstonfarmohio.com.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.