Farm & Museum
A project of Mahaska County
Historical Society Inc.
2211 Nelson Lane - P.O. Box 578 - Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577 Phone: (641) 672-2989
Copyright 2010-2019. Mahaska County Historical Society Inc. Site designed & hosted by
Open May through September
10:00 am - 4:00 pm Tuesday thru Saturday
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Sunday
Buses and Tour Groups Welcome
Please make advance arrangements by calling (641) 672-2989
Ask the Curator via e-mailBradbury Hall Inquiries via e-mail
Genealogy Library Hours
10:00 am - 1:00 pm Tuesday & Thursday
during open season
$ 7.00 - Adult
$ 2.00 - Student (age 6-18)
FREE - Child (5 & under, with adult)
FREE - Historical Society Member
$ 2.00 - K-12 Education Groups
$ 5.00 - Groups of 10+
Explore our 14 historic structures and museum exhibits covering over a century of Mahaska County history. Our self-guided tour allows you the flexibility to explore at your own leisure and spend time in the buildings and exhibits that interest you most. We have an extensive collection of farm equipment and tools, spanning from draft powered implements to early tractors. Our buildings include a log cabin, blacksmith shop, general store, one-room schoolhouse, post office, doctor's office and stage stop, voting house, a Quaker meeting house, and a residence from Buxton-a coal mining community. You can also see our extensive quilt and military collection in the museum, in addition to Native American artifacts from the county.
Knots, Loops, and Other Twisted Crafts
Sat., June 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Meet artisans and demonstrators of historic and modern fiber crafts - including rope making, chair caning, crocheting and knitting, quilting, and spinning. Take and make crafts available for small fee.
Free admission, free will donations appreciated.
Dog Hollow Rendezvous
Nelson Pioneer Farm & Timberwolf Rendezvousers
Sat., August 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sun., August 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Experience early 19th-century life with historic demonstrations, tomahawk and knife throws, authentic food and craft vendors, music, and a passionate group of re-enactors! Explore the buildings and museum at the Nelson Pioneer Farm in addition to the encampment. Family-friendly.
Free admission, donations appreciated.
The House That Daniel Built
Learn more about the Daniel Nelson brick home in this new program series. Once a month during our open season, there will be a featured program about the Nelson family, the materials used to build the home, and historic preservation. Interactive activities and crafts included in kid's programs.
All admission rates and donations from these activities will go towards our Nelson House Roof Rehabilitation Project that will be introduced during the Launch. More info about pricing coming soon.
Program Launch May 16, 6-7 PM, Free admission, donations appreciated
Board by Board June 20, 10 AM-12 PM, $10 per person
Brick by Brick July 11 & 25, 10 AM - 12 PM, $2 members, $5 non-members
Woods It to You? Aug. 8, 10 AM-12 PM, $10 per person - CANCELLED
Architectural Preservation Sept. 12, 6-7 PM, Free admission, donations appreciated CANCELLED
Wed., May 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Enjoy new site-wide scavenger hunts for adults and students. Get a membership and begin enjoying the site for the season.
Free admission; donations appreciated.
Laura's Days Family Activities - Registration Open
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Admission: $2 Society members, $5 non-members
Memberships available to purchase day of program and applied to that day's participation ($20 annual family membership)
All activities designed for children 5 and older, but younger siblings may come and participate as they can. At least one adult should accompany all participants during the program.
Space limited; registration required. Registration: https://forms.gle/ZS5RQywhnhuisZhJ9 or call 641-672-2989 (leave a message if no one is available to answer the phone)
Tues. July 2 - Wagon Wheels and Races
Wed. July 3 - Outdoor Games
Fri. July 5 - Treasure Box and Indoor Games (all participants should bring a container of their choice to decorate for their treasure box)
Tues. July 9 - Write this Down: Writing Implements with Ink
Wed. July 10 - Yarn Dyeing
Thurs. July 11 - Brick by Brick (Part of The House That Daniel Built program series)
Fri. July 12 - Fabric Fun: Rag Rugs and Bookmarks
Sat. July 13 - All About Corn
Southern Iowa Fair - no activities planned
Week 4 (duplicated from Week 2):
Tues. July 23 - Write this Down: Writing Implements with Ink
Wed. July 24 - Yarn Dyeing
Thurs. July 25 - Brick by Brick (Part of The House That Daniel Built program series)
Fri. July 26 - Fabric Fun: Rag Rugs and Bookmarks
Sat. July 27 - All About Corn
Last Hurrah of Summer
Sun. Aug. 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Bring the entire family for an afternoon of old-fashioned fun! Enjoy an ice social and vintage baseball featuring players from the Vintage Baseball Association.
Bring your own picnic and lawn chairs, we'll provide dessert. Lawn games will also be available to play.
Gates open at noon. $5 per car.
54th Annual Fall Festival
Sat. September 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Join us for the Annual Fall Festival! Enjoy the field demos, parade, old-fashioned spelling bee, pioneer picnic, crafts, games, live music, and more! The Nelson Pioneer Farm's annual celebration of pioneer life is a fun day for all ages!
This year, our theme is 2019: Pioneer Spirit and Suffrage, in honor of the 100th anniversary of American women gaining the right to vote. We are encouraging everyone to join us in the parade and would especially like to invite girls and women's groups to join our celebration this year.
Call Director/Curator Margaret at 641-672-2989 for questions or more information!
Thank you to our Sponsors!
Pony Ride - Clow Valve Co.
Old Fashioned Spelling Bee - Mahaska Drug
Vintage Tractor Parade - Mahaska County Farm Bureau
Children's Crafts and Games - Town Square Dental Care
Pioneer Picnic - TruBank, HyVee
Advertising - Cablevey Conveyors, MCG
Printing - MidwestOne Bank, Langkamp Funeral Chapel & Crematory
Historic Buildings - Oskaloosa Vision Center, Oskaloosa Chiropractic, McKim Tractor Service, Five Points Heritage Farms, Doty's Computers
Volunteer Services - Mahaska
General Event - State Bank of Bussey, Kelderman Manufacturing
Schedule (subject to change)
9:30 Flag Raising
9:40 Buildings and site open until closing
10:00 North Field demonstrations until 12 pm
10:00 Alice’s Gospel Group on Hay Bale Stage
10:30 Kid’s Spelling Bee in Prine School
11:00 Adult Spelling Bee in Prine School
11:00-1:00 Pioneer Picnic in Bradbury Hall—enter through east door
12:00-3:00 Pony rides open
12:30 Hymn Sing in Coal Creek Friends Meeting House
1:30 Vintage Machinery Parade
2:30 Scripture Memorization Exercise in Prine School
2:30 North Field demonstrations until 4:30 p.m.
3:00 Sawmill Demonstration
3:30 Hymn Sing in Coal Creek Friends Meeting House
All day activities:
Craft Barn—chair caning, kid’s crafts, bread & butter, taffy making, honey vendor
Barnyard—petting zoo, rope making, book vendors
Schoolyard—Mahaska Master’s 4-H lawn games and bake sale
Vendors, interpreters, and demonstrators around and inside historic buildings
Buxton author Rachelle Chase will be in the Buxton House all day with her new book!
Kid's Day Camps
Nelson Pioneer Farm & Mahaska County Conservation
Tues. July 30 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon
Wed. July 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Thurs. Aug. 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday - Preschool Pioneer Day Camp
available for ages 5 and younger. The
morning will explore foodways through a tasting and sensory table, barnyard
petting zoo, and plant and take your own seed activities. Historic games will
also be available for kids and families to enjoy. Adults are asked to stay with their child
during the activities. $10 per participating
child. Younger siblings welcome.
20. To register: https://forms.gle/dpzfxS3auuvVE3Mg9
Wednesday - Pioneer Day Camp for kids
6-9 years. Make and eat your own
mulligan stew from a Dutch Oven! Bring a
vegetable to add to the stew. Games,
guided tour of the Farm buildings, and Cherokee leaf pounding craft all are
part of the fun. Bring your own water bottle and lunch. $10 per participating
Limit 20. To register: https://forms.gle/5JpehboPbU8kbvhi6
Thursday - All About Coal Camp for kids
10 and older. Explore Mahaska County’s
rich coal mining history through a Buxton House artifact tour, meet a mule, try
your hand at blacksmithing, and make and take charcoal art project. Bring your own sack lunch, water bottle, and
be sure to wear non-synthetic clothes and close-toed shoes for blacksmithing!
$10 per participating child.
Limit 20. To register: https://forms.gle/Fvv2UPtk41eSY7to6
A Wartime Christmas
Sunday, December 8 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Bring your family and friends to an afternoon coffee time of family and community. Live Christmas music will get you in the holiday spirit while you enjoy vintage board games and crafts/activities around Bradbury Hall. Be sure to write a Christmas card for our active servicemen and women.
Coffee, tea, and cocoa will be available with sweet treats.
Free admission; donations appreciated.
Annual Membership Meeting
Mon. February 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
We encourage you to bring a friend who may be interested in joining the Historical Society.
Potluck begins at 6:30. Bring a dish to pass and your own table service. Water and coffee provided.
Annual reports and updates from Board of Directors and Trustees to follow, as well as a brief business meeting to approve the 2020 budget.
No program; memorial service to deceased members and friends will start after business meeting.
Those being remembered:
- Margaret Ademeit
- Elizabeth "Betty" Barnard
- Janice DeBoef
- Leland E. Fynaardt
- Henrietta Groenenboom
- Kenneth Groenenboom
- Marilyn N. Herny
- Harry Arthur Johnson
- Esther Lucille Kempenaar
- Ellen L. Sears Kentfield
- Evelyn Cherry Kinsinger
- Antonette "Ann" Marie Schultz
- Florence K. Sterk
- Judy Swanson
- Wilbur Veenstra
Family and friends of those above are welcome to join our memorial.