Johnston Farm plans Fall Celebration

PIQUA — Fall foliage will be on display at the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency Saturday, Oct. 1, as the historic site hosts its annual Fall Celebration from noon until 5 p.m.

“Hopefully, we’ll get some color on the canal for the canal boat rides,” Site Manager Andy Hite said. “The canal boat, when the leaves are changing is really a pretty sight.”

In addition to canal boat rides, the farm will also be hosting an afternoon of special demonstrations and activities in celebration of all things fall-related. Regular site admission will apply.

“We’ll be having a variety of activities for kids and families to do that day, sort of focusing on the fall time of year,” Hite said.

“We open the site, and it’s pretty much business as usual,” he said. “We’ll have three canal boat rides that day, at 12:30, 2:30 and 4 pm. The site museum will be open, as well as the Johnston home; if people have not had an opportunity to visit the home now that we have restored it to its original grandeur, this is a great opportunity to do that.”

Located at 9845 N. Hardin Road in Piqua, the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency is a 250-acre historic site, centered around the life and career of early 1800s farmer and Indian agent John Johnston. The site offers a modern museum along with the original Johnston family farmhouse, a double-pen barn, springhouse, cider house and the General Harrison of Piqua canal boat. The site also features an authentic Adena Indian mound and earthwork.

“It would have been harvest time,” Hite said. “This was an active farm, so they would have been working on harvesting crops and getting things ready for winter. It would have been a much different harvest time than what we’re used to today, more labor-intensive.”

The farm has been hosting the annual fall celebration for approximately 30 years.

“Typically, we’re not open in the fall to the public, because we’re doing school groups,” Hite said, “so we wanted to make the site available to people one more time in the fall.”

“Fall is such a pretty time out here that it just seemed like a good thing to do,” he said.

The farm is staffed by a combination of regular employees and volunteers, and additional volunteers are always needed and appreciated.

“A lot of the activities are conducted by volunteers,” Hite said. “We never pass up a volunteer.”

“We’ll need volunteers for our Christmas event, and school groups,” he said. “We’ve got a variety of things to do. We try to be as accommodating as we can.”

After the Fall Celebration, the farm’s next event will be the annual Christmas on the Johnston Farm Saturday, Dec. 3. More information on the Johnston Farm can be found online at www.johnstonfarmohio.com, or by calling 937-773-2522.

The writer is a regular contributor to Miami Valley Today.