Johnston Farm opens for the season


By Rena Ryan

For Miami Valley Today

PIQUA — The Johnston Farm and Indian Agency in Piqua is now open for the 2024 season, in the months of April through October.

Johnston Farm & Indian Agency, located at 9845 N. Hardin Road, is a 200-acre historical site that is named after John Johnston, one of Piqua’s earliest settlers. Johnston was a farmer and U.S. Indian Agent for Western Ohio from 1812 to 1829.

Visitors to the farm learn details of Johnston’s life while experiencing the legendary history of the farm and Indian Agency that’s been preserved for many generations. Site Director Ben Richard said the site is interperted from the mid- to-late 1700s to the mid-to-late 1800s.

“We are very excited for this season. We have spent the winter and spring months preparing for the season. We have a lot of great events planned, including the Celtic Heritage Festival. It is the first year for that event and to end the season, we have the Historical Fall Trade Faire at Fort Piqua in October. Those are two of our capstone events. The other events are more like programs.”

Regular admission is $9 per adult/seniors, AAA and military; $8/students 6-12; $4; free to Johnston Farm Friends, Ohio History Connection members, and children 5 and under. Johnston Farm is closed on holidays.

Jim Vetter, Johnston Farm canal boat captain, said he is excited for the 2024 season and ready for the students to come and learn history. Vetter said after the passing of their long time mule Kit, he’s excited for people to meet the two new mules that have become family to the farm.

During the months of April, May, September and October, Johnston Farm and Indian Agency is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m for to 3:30 p.m. for school groups. The public is always welcome when a school or other group is there. Otherwise its open June, July and August, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

The Johnston Farm and Indian Agency 2024 program calendar includes the following:

• Celtic Heritage Festival — Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26,. Enjoy the music and traditions of celtic heritage on the farm for memorial day weekend.

• Whauar Aur Ye Frae — Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9. Immerse yourself in John Johnson’s Ulter Scouts heritage through tales and music.

• Out of the Hearth — Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16. Unveiling lives of 18th Century Women. Take a journey back in time to meet Elizabeth Cameron (portrayed by historian Laura Supinger).

• What’s in the Johnston’s Back Yard? — Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23. Take a guided hike through the Johnston’s backyard and learn about the native plants and wildlife that are found there.

• Explore the Artistic Tapestry of the Johnston House — Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30 . This unique program will allow guests to experience and learn about the decorative collection in the Johnston house, and gain insights into both the 1967 and 2018 restorations. Space is limited, reservations are required.

• Capture the past: Historic site photography contest- Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14. Johnston Farm encourages visitors to “Grab your camera, or just bring your smartphone, and capture the wonder of the site through photography! Be sure to share your best photo through our Facebook page for a chance to win the public choice award. Two local photographers will be on hand to share techniques, display their work, and judge submissions in youth and adult divisions.” Cost: site admission.

• A Dickens’ Christmas-Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21 – “Did you know John Johnston and Charles Dickens once met? Come out this weekend in July to learn all about it from Mr. Dickens’ American friend, James Fields. Enjoy a display of antique Christmas ornaments and make your own,” the website said. Featuring living history actor, Chris Hart, and held in collaboration with Apple Tree Gallery, Piqua. Cost: site admission.

• Explore the Artistic Tapestry of the Johnston House -This unique program runs again — Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28. Space is limited. Cost: site admission; pre-registration required.

• Evening on the Canal- Saturday, Aug. 3 — Following a light summer dinner, take a ride into the past on the Gen’l Harrison canal boat as it cruises a 1.5 mile stretch of the Miami and Erie Canal; reservations are required.

• Curiosities and Oddities: Unmasking the bizarre side of the 19th Century- Aug. 17-18 — Explore the unseen aspects behind the illusion of cleanliness and order in 19th Century dress and hygiene. Meet the “other side” as we look at the individuals and processes essential to creating this captivating image. “Prepare to be disgusted!” said the Johnston Farm website. The cost is the site admission.

• Explore the artistic tapestry of the Johnston house. This unique program runs again — Aug. 24-25 . Space is limited. The cost is the site admission; pre-registration is required.

• Historical fall trade Faire at Fort Piqua- Oct. 19-20 — Participate in autumn festivities, and interact with trades-people and characters from the mid 18th to mid 19th Centuries. Food and craft vendors will be on hand. Cost: site admission.

• An 1815 Johnston Christmas-Dec. 6-7 — Join the Johnston family as they celebrate Christmas in 1815, with old and new traditions. Partake of a 19th Century meal cooked over the open hearth by Laura Supinger of Thistle and Shamrock LLC. Seats are limited both evenings. Reservations will be taken starting Nov. 1.

• Johnston House Christmas tours- Dec. 14, 15, 28 and 29 — Experience the magic of Christmas past by joining a guided tour of the Johnston house, all decked out for the season. After the tour, come to the kitchen for a snack and browse the sales table for a unique Johnston Farm memento. Cost: $5 per person.

Richard says they have two main goals for Johnston Farm, and they are No. 1, to bring new people out to the property to experience the history of the land, and No. 2, to get people who have been to there before to revisit the land and become requainted with the property to see what new things they have going on.

For more information, visit

Sheryl Roadcap contributed to this story. She can be reached at sroadcap@aimmediamidwest.

No posts to display