Rain dampens fields, but not spirits, at Peinhardt Farm Day 2019

Emma Nichols and Ayden Gatlin stopped by the Peinhardt Farm blacksmith shop to get their birdhouses branded Saturday afternoon. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The gates at Peinhardt Living History Farm opened at 9 a.m. Saturday for Peinhardt Farm Day 2019 and the crowds started arriving. By 10 a.m. the sky opened up and light rain would be a constant for the remainder of the event. While attendance was impacted to some degree, visitors continued to come and attitudes seemed to remain sunny.

Around lunchtime, a very wet Jennifer Tucker, event coordinator and daughter of Eddie Peinhardt, took time from her many trips around the grounds to tell The Tribune, “Despite the rain, we’ve still had a crowd of people; of course not like we’d hoped, but we’ve still had quite a few people come through, and there’s still people coming through. They’re enduring the rain just like the rest of us.”

Tucker explained the reason behind Farm Day, saying, “We started with just field trips with the kids, and we were trying to preserve the family farm, the history, because that’s something that the kids and the adults don’t have now, is just the farm heritage. We just started small, and every year it’s gotten bigger and gotten bigger. We’re just glad we’ve got the opportunity to share the history of the farm, and for young kids to come out and just experience what they’ve never experienced before, and a lot of adults haven’t experienced.

“We’ve got a lot of old people who come through that just reminisce and know a lot about the things on the farm, and we’ve got a lot that just come with their families and share the knowledge of the farm that they know to share with their family.”

What’s the most fun part of this for the Peinhardt family?

Tucker shared, “For our family, being able to open it up and share it with everybody else. They love it! We’ve had people from Birmingham I talked to today. They said, ‘This is our 12th year to come,’ and she said, ‘We come every year.’ And they love it.

“Just seeing the enjoyment on everybody else’s face, from the little kids to the older elderly people, they just love it. You can hear as you walk through the museum, you’ll hear the older people, ‘I’ve used this machine,’ or ‘I’ve used this tool, and this is how it works.’ They’re talking to the younger generation, to their grandkids that they’ve got. They were sharing about how they used to use a lot of the equipment and a lot of the tools that we’ve got, so it just brings back a lot of memories for the families that come through.”

Tucker gave loads of credit to the numerous volunteers who turn out from year to year to make Farm Day a success in any weather.

“It’s a lot of hard work, but we have our volunteers,” she said. “We could not run this farm without the volunteers that we’ve got–all these people–we couldn’t do it. We’re most thankful for the volunteers. That’s one thing. I think a lot of times they get looked over, but if we didn’t have our volunteers to help us, we couldn’t do this day, we couldn’t do our school days that we do, because they’re a big part of what makes this farm run, our volunteers that we have. I just want to thank them.”

One of those volunteers, Bill Ruehl, stood in the doorway of his great grandfather’s log cabin, which was relocated from East Point to Peinhardt Farm several years ago. He was sharing stories of the cabin’s original occupants, who came to Cullman from Cincinnati, Ohio with the second wave of German settlers in the 1870s.

Of his great grandfather, Ruehl said, “He built this cabin late ‘73, ‘74 for his wife who was still in Cincinnati. She got on the train and arrived in town a day early. She was pregnant and said if she had the money, she’d have went back north!”

Ruehl shared with The Tribune, “I enjoy being out here in the cabin and telling folks a little history of it. On this day, this fall weekend, the public can come out and tour everything, and I think, about five to six weeks prior to this, the school kids–third graders–all came out and learned about early history of settlers here in Cullman County. It’s important history; we should remember it.

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W.C. Mann