Old World Wisconsin is America?s largest outdoor museum of rural life depicting the lives and times of pioneers. Located in Eagle, Wisconsin, this open-air museum houses more than 60 historic structures from the 1800s, spread all over the nearly 600 acres (2.4 km?) of rolling wooded hills. Old World Wisconsin includes an 1870s crossroads village and an assortment of ethnic farmsteads that portray Wisconsin?s history of immigration and resettlement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Opened in 1976, the Old World Wisconsin features a range of historic structures from ethnic farmsteads with furnished houses and rural outbuildings to a crossroads village with its traditional small-town institutions.
The museum offers a vivid re-creation of the working farmsteads and settlements established by European immigrants in America's heartland. Visitors can journey back to the past, enjoying a myriad scenes of rural life such as farm folks preparing hearty meals over wood-burning stoves, the heirloom plants in well-tended gardens, or watch a team of oxen and horses working in the fields. Discover the true spirit of early Wisconsin while strolling through the Crossroads Village and chat with the town blacksmith or the keeper of the general store.
The Old World Wisconsin was created through researchers who traveled throughout Wisconsin looking for historic buildings hewn by generations of Wisconsin settlers. These structures are then dismantled piece by piece, marked and numbered so as to reconstruct them precisely as they had been built. Farmsteads and settlements that represent various ethnic groups include African American, Danish, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Polish, and Yankee. One of the featured buildings is the Schulz Farm in the German settlement where you can see men cutting wood. Tree trunks are brought in by horses and men would roll them to the saw, which was connected with extremely long leather straps to an old steam engine.
Aside from Old World Wisconsin's historic farm and village buildings, the museum also features a restaurant and conference space located in the octagonal Clausing Barn, along with a gift shop. Trams run between the Scandinavian and German, African American, and Crossroads Villages.