Pasto Ag Museum offers ice cream, cookies at final open house this fall

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The last in a series of fall open houses at Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 30, will feature an ice cream social and collections of antique cookie cutters and vintage aprons.

The ice cream -- supplied, of course, by Penn State's Berkey Creamery -- is intended to thank the museum's many volunteers and benefactors who have helped with the fall open houses, according to curator Rita Graef. Among the cookie cutters on display will be items made by noted tinsmith Charles Messner, of Denver, Pennsylvania.

"And we have festooned our barn with vintage aprons from the personal collection of Debra Gregory," Graef said. "In addition to exquisitely embroidered aprons, there is a set of matching mother-daughter smocks to admire."

While supplies last, visitors will be treated to ice cream and cookies while they take part in hands-on activities, such as making old-fashioned bread dough and traditional paper ornaments to take home.

"It's the museum's way of thanking friends and supporters who have partnered with us, such as the craftspeople, speakers and passionate experts who made our open houses so interesting," Graef said.

Operated by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, the museum has welcomed visitors every Sunday afternoon during Penn State home football weekends as part of an initiative to increase public awareness of the museum's collection.

Graef explained that the open houses help the public appreciate the time when energy for work was supplied by the power of humans and animals.

"By seeing and touching tools and equipment used in early agriculture and rural life, people will better understand how early technological developments led to modern-day advancements," she said.

More information on the museum is available at the website. To receive information and event reminders via email, send a message to PastoAgMuseum@psu.edu. Graef can be reached at 814-863-1383 or by email at rsg7@psu.edu.

Located on the Ag Progress Days site at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs -- nine miles southwest of State College on Route 45 -- the museum features hundreds of rare farm and home implements from the "muscle-power era," before the advent of electricity and gasoline-powered engines.

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Last Updated November 24, 2014