A popular place to visit and learn more about the history of the settlers in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is the Cyrus McCormick Farm and Workshop. This national landmark is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a wonderful resource in the community that we hope you get to view and tour while staying with us in our cozy cabins in Virginia. It is the birthplace of one of the most important inventions in farming, the reaper.
This historic family farm and home-place is also called Walnut Grove. Cyrus improved and patented the reaper, which eventually made the way for the combine harvester to be invented. Prior to this life changing invention, farmers could harvest only about a half-acre a day. Imagine what life was like after this invention changed production and harvesting when after it was created by Cyrus it allowed farmers to harvest 12 acres a day with less manual labor. This made way for other pursuits on the farm as time was now saved. A family no longer had to spend the entire day harvesting a small plot. One single farmer could harvest multiple fields in half a day. As you can imagine, fields and plots became much larger after the reaper was invented.
McCormick Farm VA is currently a museum ran by the Virginia Agricultural Experimental Station of Virginia Tech. There are 8 buildings on the premises including a grist mill, blacksmith shop, slave quarters, carriage house, manor house, smoke house, schoolroom, and housekeepers quarters. Each of these buildings proved to be necessary for the settlers that lived at McCormick Farms. The Grist Mill and Blacksmith shop are a wonderful, restored example of what life was like in the 1820’s.