Lake County Parks Department
Upon arrival to the park you’ll notice the Visitor Center, located next to the parking area on Hendricks Road. It includes restroom facilities, drinking fountain, information kiosk, and a small gift shop which is open weekend afternoons in September and October. Take the path from the Visitor Center past the herb garden and through the orchard to the Buckley family farm. If the buildings are closed when you visit feel free to peek in the windows. Better yet, come back when the buildings are open. Be sure to read the interpretive signs at each building.
Visitors arrive first at the Carriage House. The garage for storing a carriage was in the center section. The west side (nearest the house) has an underground cistern to hold water and served as a cool place to store foods. The Buckleys also did laundry in there. The east side (nearest the orchard) served as a chicken coop. You can see a small door for chickens on the side.
Main House Museum – Did you realize that many farms were divided by a roadway? The side of the road with the house was considered where women’s work was done – housework, gardening, and care of the chickens. On the farm side, tasks fell to the men folk. The park department is fortunate in that the Buckley Home remained in the family until it was donated to Lake County. Nearly all the furnishings were original to family members.
Off to School – You’ll find the path to the one-room school house behind the Hired Hand’s House. Look for horses and cows in the pasture along the way but stay on the trail, as you may encounter poison ivy and wild things if you wander too far. The Buckley School is a replica of the original one-room school that was open from the middle 1800s until the 1920s. It sits on the original foundation site. The outhouses and water pump are safe for public use. Be sure that children don’t place their hands too high on the handle when pumping water – fingers may get pinched
Pioneer Farm – Follow the path along the fence row from the school to the pioneer farm – a log house from the mid-1800s shows how early pioneers lived in northern Indiana. Check to see if the Native American Woodland Indian Camp is open.
Back Again – From the pioneer farm follow the path down the hill and along the stream. Turn left at the first opportunity to cross the scenic footbridge over the meandering creek. This will take you back to the 1916 barn, granary, milk house, hog barn, and hired hands house.