The Crook Farmhouse is thought to be one of the oldest buildings in the Bradford, PA area, and thanks to the efforts of the Bradford Landmark Society, it has been restored and furnished according to 1870’s period decor. The farmhouse is one of four buildings that now sit on the Crook Farm property, which the Society purchased in 1974. That year, the house was accepted on the Pennsylvania Register, and the following year, on the National Register of Historic Places.
A gentleman by the name of Mr. Crook originally purchased the 80-acre farmland in 1875 after moving to Bradford from New Hampshire with his wife, Betsy. Whether or not the original house was actually built by Mr. Crook is unknown, however, the house had remained in the Crook family for four generations that spanned 125 years, thus inspiring a yearly event that today is enjoyed by hundreds.
The 34th Annual Crook Farm County Fair is set to take place on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24-25, and promises a good time for all ages. It will run from 10am-4pm both days, and admission is only $4 per person; kids under 12 are free.
Over 60 vendors have signed up to participate in this year’s fair, so you can count on there being plenty of shopping opportunities. (What a great time to start your Christmas shopping!) Organic produce will also have a presence at this year’s event, thanks to a newcomer farm coop out of Coudersport, PA.
You can also bet on live music to stream throughout the weekend. A variety of music genres will be represented, including traditional Bluegrass, Folk, and American Traditional music and dance. Local musicians are invited to join in at the Jam/Song tent. If dancing is more your style, the Crook Farm County Fair offers square dancing each evening, called by Joe Kwiatkowsi. Beginners as well as seasoned dancers are invited to come and participate in the dances. The fair will also offer special workshops that promise to be informative and interesting. Workshops will be geared towards flatfoot dancing, Erie Canal & civil war songs, instrument repair, and more.
For additional information on the fair or for a schedule of events for the weekend, visit bradfordlandmark.org and click “Crook Farm” on the left sidebar.
GUIDED TOURS OF THE CROOK FARM
If you can’t make it to the fair, you can still visit the farm and all its buildings located on-site (which includes the Crook Farmhouse, School House No. 8, the Bank Building, and the Carpenter Shop). Just call ahead at814-362-3906 to book your guided tour, available any time of year.
Crook Farm also hosts weekly “Jammin’ at the Farm” sessions on Tuesday evenings starting at 7pm. These evenings are filled with music played by local musicians and square and round dancing. With an admission fee of only $3, it’s sure to be a good night for a great value!
Thursday and Friday evenings are reserved for singing and playing Country music at the farm. Starting at 7:30pm, musicians are invited to come and circle up to play country classics. More information about all evening events can be found on the Bradford Landmark Society website.
Crook Farm also offers a special school program right on location. Students in grades 4 through 6 are able to come, dressed in period appropriate outfits, and experience what school was like in the 1880s. They learn through spelling bees, math lessons, and writing with pen and ink. The kids also learn about laundering clothes in washtubs, pressing clothes with irons heated on a woodburning stove, weaving on a loom, and candle dipping. Any groups of schools interested in the program should contact the farm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you are able to attend the Crook Farm County Fair, or decide to visit the farm some other time during the year, you are sure to experience an enjoyable visit and be reminded of times past.