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McCormick Farm, Raphine

4.5
#215 of 315 in Museums in Virginia
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The Cyrus McCormick Farm and Workshop is on the family farm of inventor Cyrus Hall McCormick known as Walnut Grove. Cyrus Hall McCormick improved and patented the mechanical reaper, which eventually led to the creation of the combine harvester. The farm is near Steele's Tavern and Raphine, close to the northern border of Rockbridge and Augusta counties in the U.S. state of Virginia, and is currently a museum run by the Virginia Agricultural Experimental Station of Virginia Tech. The museum with free admission and covers of the initial 532acre farm.
The farm originally covered 532 acres with buildings centered on a scant 5 acres. On the farm eight out of the nine original buildings are still standing, many of which have been renovated since the farm was created in 1822 by Robert McCormick (1780–1846). The eight existing buildings include a grist mill, blacksmith shop, slave quarters, carriage house, manor house, smoke house, schoolroom, and housekeeper's quarters. In the original construction of the farm there was also an ice house which was demolished in the 1960s. Each of these different buildings played a specific role in the daily routine of the Cyrus McCormick farm. The grist mill, built prior to 1800, was used to grind wheat for flour. The blacksmith shop was used to build and repair all the farm implements needed by the McCormick family and was where Cyrus McCormick engineered his reaper. Slave quarters served as the home for the nine slaves that the McCormick family owned. Furthermore, the carriage house was used as a garage for the carriages and other wheeled vehicles. The manor house is centrally located on the farm and was constructed of brick in 1822, making it the first building on the McCormick farm. Behind the brick manor house was the smoke house where meat was dried and smoked to preserve it through the winter. Refrigeration was not introduced until the late 19th century. The McCormick family also maintained a school on their property for neighboring children. Work out when and for how long to visit McCormick Farm and other Raphine attractions using our handy Raphine sightseeing site.
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  • Nice and interesting historic site to visit. Unfortunately, it was closed so we could only walk the grounds which are very pretty. We took the short hike across the road from the farm and the... 
    Nice and interesting historic site to visit. Unfortunately, it was closed so we could only walk the grounds which are very pretty. We took the short hike across the road from the farm and the...  more »
  • What a lovely , historical place to visit. A small museum, a farm dating back to 1809. But the views... and the photos we took of the buildings, the cows, sheep, the rolling hills, were worth the... 
    What a lovely , historical place to visit. A small museum, a farm dating back to 1809. But the views... and the photos we took of the buildings, the cows, sheep, the rolling hills, were worth the...  more »

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