Preserving Hale Farm & Village for the Future

Preserving for the Future

Joe TokarskyHale Farm & Village is like a second home for employee Joe Tokarsky. Like most homeowners, Joe notices and addresses things most guests to the Village probably don’t see, such as windows in need of glazing, old rails, or walls needing fresh paint.

Joe is Hale Farm’s new maintenance and preservation lead, the point guy responsible for keeping all the historical buildings in good condition. He joined Hale Farm & Village in June and already has been making an impact with various maintenance projects.

And believe it or not, much of the maintenance and preservation needed at Hale Farm involves small repairs to some of the hundreds of windows located throughout the museum’s property.

“My most recent project was building a bottom rail and the interior grid for one of the large 4’ x 10’ sash windows in our Meeting House,” Joe said.  “This repair was done without removing the window in order to limit the amount of possible damage to the window and its frame.”

In some buildings, Joe did have to remove window sashes and put up either plywood or Plexiglas as temporary windows. He does the repairs to the windows himself on-site.

Joe’s restoration work isn’t limited to window repair or painting. He recently called in a professional contractor to re-point the mortar joints on the Herrick House’s exterior sandstone block. Prior the Harvest Festival in October, Joe was the one Hale Farm relied on to make quick repairs on the apple cider press.

In preparing for winter, Joe and his team of three have kept busy painting, removing leaves from gutters, and sealing up any holes to prevent critters from moving into the buildings.

The challenging part of the job is not so much the work itself but doing it while guests come to visit Hale Farm & Village without any interruptions to their experience.

“It’s like a puzzle, getting (maintenance and preservation work) done with minimum interference to operations,” Joe said, noting that it can be a fun challenge, too.

Teaching historical preservation

Hale Preserving for the FutureFarm & Village is obviously known for being an educational museum that teaches history by demonstration.

In keeping with that tradition, one of Joe’s goals is to bring in more college students to work on the maintenance and preservation of Hale Farm, either as an internship or a capstone project for graduation. That way, Hale Farm can benefit from fresh ideas, and the students can get experience in restoring history.

Joe himself graduated from Belmont College this past May with a degree in building preservation and restoration. Prior to that, he grew up in a family that ran a furniture repair and refinishing business and developed his woodworking skills by helping out there.

Joe is starting to pitch Hale Farm as an internship opportunity to his Alma mater and other local colleges that offer programs in building preservation. He would like to teach students not only how to repair a historical building but also how to continue to make Hale Farm a great experience for all visitors.

Another one of Joe’s goals for recruiting college students for trades-based projects “is that their work will add to the continuing historical journey and archives of Hale Farm and Village,” he said.

Top 10 Reasons to Come to Hale Farm’s Harvest Festival

Top 10 Reasons to Come to Hale Farm’s Harvest Festival

Autumn is here and for many of us Ohioans, it’s our favorite season because of the spectacular colors, the cooler temperatures, and the aromas and tastes of harvest season.

And once again, Hale Farm & Village will host its annual Harvest Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 1, 2, 8, and 9 to give all of us a Pumpkin Painting at Hale Harvest Festivalreason to get outside and celebrate the season. In fact, here’s at least 10 reasons to come to Hale Farm’s Harvest Festival, rain or shine:

  1. Affordable admission. The cost of the Harvest Festival is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free for WRHS members and youth 2yrs and under. So the Harvest Festival is a very affordable family outing that will be loaded with all kinds of fun activities.
  2. Pumpkin painting. What is autumn without pumpkin decorating? Purchase our pumpkins, and there will be paints and brushes available for the kids to paint whatever faces they choose.
  3. Wagon rides. Once again, Trail Light Farms will bring its draft horses to Hale Farm to provide wagon rides along with tractor hay rides throughout the Harvest Festival weekends, and wagon rides are included in the admission price.
  4. Apple picking, apple butter making, and apple cider! You can come to the orchard and pick apples with a wire basket on a long pole, put the apples in a burlap sack, then come over to the Herrick House to add the apples to a large kettle of apple butter! We invite all guests to help stir the boiling butter and taste Ohio made apple butter in the Herrick House kitchen. At Hale Barn, you can help us press apples into cider the quintessential Ohio fall drink.Johnny Appleseed at Hale Harvest Festival
  5. Johnny Appleseed. Speaking of apples, Johnny Appleseed will stop by to tell comical stories at noon and 2:30 on all days of the Harvest Festival. Played by Ray McNiece, the Johnny Appleseed presentation will feature plenty of audience participation.
  6. Fleas N Tiques sale. The Citizens of Hale will hold its first Fleas N Tiques vintage sale during Harvest Festival hours. This unique sale includes antiques, vintage household items and collectibles ranging from the 1800s to mid-20th century. All proceeds from this sale will support the Citizens of Hale’s projects for Hale Farm, such as garden restoration and maintenance.
  7. Corn maze, straw pile jumping and a pumpkin patch! Need we say more?Hale Harvest Fest 5K Run
  8. The Hale Harvest 5K run on October 1. Avid runners and walkers can traverse a three-mile loop course, starting at 9:15 a.m. The top three finishers overall and the top male and female finishers per category will receive handcrafted pieces from Hale Farm’s craft and trade artisans. Registration is $30 per runner and includes free admission to the festival on that day. Check out for registration details.
  9. Good old-fashioned farm activities. Hale Farm & Village has always been known as a great escape from busy city life. So during the Harvest Festival, we’ll make sure to keep families busy with corn shucking, garden picking, and hand cultivating.
  10. Spinning, weaving, rugs, and lace. The Medina Spinning and Weaving Guild will be having a “spin-in” at the Hale House on October 1-2. What that means is, the group will bring their wheels and spin enough yarn to weave a blanket for the Goldsmith House. The other demonstrations include Western Reserve Rug Hookers (both Sundays of the festival) and Western Reserve Lace Society on October 8 and 9.

Of course, the Harvest Festival at Hale Farm will include other countless activities. We plan to have fall-themed crafts for the kids, and as with all of our festivals, our staff will demonstrate early American crafts and trades throughout the Village.

The Hale Café will feature home baked apple and pumpkin pies and pumpkin roles, harvest chicken salad and brats, as well as our signature apple cider mimosas. Pick up a jar of apple or pumpkin butter, hand-blown glass pumpkins or seasonal candles in the MarketPlace and plan to spend the day on the farm!

So rain or shine we will be having fun, bring the kids and let us entertain them!