Slow your pace at Chippewa Nature Center’s Homestead Farm and Log Schoolhouse as you explore rural life in the 1870s. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, buildings are open free of charge from 1-5 pm every Sunday afternoon with staff and volunteers on hand to answer your questions, give tours of the farm and lead a variety of hands-on activities.
Reconstructed buildings at the farm include a log cabin, log barn, root cellar, tool shed, chicken coop, wagon barn and outhouse. Kids love pumping water at the well, exploring the vegetable and herb gardens and visiting the cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens.
Right down the path from Chippewa Nature Center’s (CNC) Homestead cabin and farm, visitors can step back in time at the one-room schoolhouse and learn about a country school in 1870. Kids of all ages will enjoy simple lessons, writing on slate boards and recess in the schoolyard. Whether polishing up on the “4 Rs” (reading, writing, arithmetic and recitation), walking on stilts or playing graces, school has never been so much fun!
Over the past three decades, the log schoolhouse and Homestead Farm have been enjoyed by thousands of school children and families for a wide variety of historical programs.
March is maple syrup season at Chippewa Nature Center! Throughout the month, we tap sugar maple trees in the beech-maple woods and collect sap in metal buckets. Each day, sap is hauled to the sugarhouse where we boil it into 100% pure maple syrup in our modern, wood-fired evaporator pan inside the sugarhouse.
The sugarhouse is open to visitors every Saturday and Sunday in March from 1:30–4:30pm. Here, you can chat with a staff member as you watch maple syrup being made and take a walking tour of the sugarbush. We also invite you to visit during our Maple Syrup Day festival each year in March.
For thousands of years, Native Americans lived on the banks of the Pine and Chippewa Rivers that flow through current Nature Center lands. Today, you can visit our wigwam reconstruction to learn about Native American life in Midland County hundreds of years ago.
Activities at the wigwam include demonstrations at Maple Syrup Day, Fall Harvest Festival and other seasonal programs. CNC also offers a variety of traditional skills workshops each year, such as fire-by-friction and cordage making, brain-tanning deer hides and flintknapping. Additional programs for school groups, summer day campers and scout groups also utilize this unique bark building.