When I set out to write the three books that make up Buckeye Dreams, I knew I wanted to set them in my home state of Ohio where I was born and raised. More specifically, I decided to place them in and around Delaware, Ohio where I spent most of my childhood. That meant the main setting of the story would take place on a farm. Having grown up on and around farms, I knew quite a bit about farming but Buckeye Dreams takes place in the 19th century. Where would I go to find out what it was like to live and work on a farm in 19th century Ohio? Easy. I went to one.
No, I don't have a time machine. But I do have a fantastic resource just outside where I live in Columbus, Ohio called Slate Run Living Historical Farm.
Let me show you around.
This is the farmhouse. While Slate Run is a farm that is run as it was in the 1880's this house was built in the 1850's. It became the inspiration for the Kirby farmhouse in Buckeye Dreams.
In Yankee Heart, Book One in Buckeye Dreams my hero and heroine, Daniel and Katherine, have a number of conversations in this little courtyard outside the farmhouse kitchen. During the spring and summer months at Slate Run, the volunteers encourage visitors to use the pump to water the plants in the kitchen garden next to the house. The outbuilding you see there is the summer kitchen.
Just a short walk away from the farmhouse is the barn. The farm cares for horses, cows, sheep, pigs and there are even ducks wandering around. At harvest time, you can help the volunteers pick potatoes and corn.
And speaking of the volunteers you couldn't ask for friendlier or more informed people. They run the farm in period clothing and were thrilled to answer the many questions I had about 19th century farm life.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour. If you ever find yourself near Columbus I would encourage you to take a trip to Slate Run and see it for yourself.
What about you? Do you have something similar to Slate Run in your area? I would love to hear about it.
Jennifer has been writing down stories since she got an A++ on her ninth grade creative writing assignment. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and a graduate of The Ohio State University, she makes room to write in between being a busy wife and mom and despite the fact her cat likes to lay in front of her keyboard.
Buckeye Dreams is available now as an ebook at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and Christianbook.com