A Day at Petersen Farm
McHenry farm welcomes all to celebrate our agricultural roots.
When he got to northern Illinois, he knew this was where he would build his farmstead and raise a family. He spent his savings on 80 acres of land and set to work building a house for his bride-to-be, Mehitabel Elizabeth Smith.
Colby set about clearing land, building a road, planting crops and, most importantly, building his Greek Revival farmhouse so he could bring Mehitabel to her bridal home. It was a rigorous and solitary life until October 1843 when the couple married and headed back to a farm that would remain in the family for 159 years until the death of the last descendent, Robert Petersen, in 2002.
Eventually, the family added 800 acres to the farm and put more rooms on the farmhouse. Now considered an historic treasure, under the protection of the McHenry Landmark Commission and the City of McHenry, the farmstead is being restored as part of the Petersen family will to create a living museum of 19th and 20th century farm life.
Every June, the McHenry Landmark Commission hosts A Day at Petersen Farm – an all-day family event recreating agricultural and family life significant to the history of Petersen Farm. Hayrides, cooking demonstrations, farm animals, crop information, period games and much more will take place. Costumed historians, talking to visitors and demonstrating the science and art of early farming, will be part of a fun-filled day.
The event is free. Petersen Farm is located north of downtown McHenry on McCullom Lake Road, across from the entrance to Petersen Park.