Ferguson School, Depot Museum open Sunday at Brown County Fairgrounds

depot and school

Top: Ferguson School. Bottom: Depot Museum. | Photo courtesy of Brown County Historical Society

MOUNT STERLING, Ill. — Visiting the Brown County Fairgrounds to explore the Depot Museum and the Ferguson Valley Country School is a step back into our forefathers’ way of life.  The Brown County Historical Society would like to invite all to visit both on Sept. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m.

One of the exhibits celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Brown County Fair. See a picture of Minnie Pearl as she was on the stage in 1958.  Renowned race horses brought big crowds each year. Many local, winning horses are noted, as are their Brown County family names. The museum now exhibits a display of Francis Greer, a local beloved race horse man. See pictures of him, his winning horses, his many trophies and memorabilia, all donated by his family.

The agricultural life of Brown County is exhibited. Many local family names have been entered into competitions, and the listings of 4-H members and county family members are shown as they won with their competition. The extensive collection of fair gate tickets is framed to see. 

Items of necessities for the early Brown Countians are on display. Visit the poultry exhibit and see how eggs made it to market 100 years ago. Visit the dairy department to see how milk was produced, delivered and shipped.  The early days in the development of Brown County’s own DOT Foods started right there.  

In the lower level, an exhibit shows the process of “putting up hay” 100 years ago. Horses provided the energy needed both in the field and at the homestead. See the new exhibit illustrating the process of putting the hay into the loft, as well as the exhibit of horse bits with the saddles and harness. 

Ferguson School sits on its little plot to the south of the museum. A bell is ready to ring before entering the school where one is transported back to the “Little House on the Prairie” days. See various size desks used by various aged students, a blackboard across the front of the room, the teacher’s desk and recitation bench, wall maps to pull down, a stove to keep the children warm and a picture of Abraham Lincoln on the upper wall.  

The depot museum is handicapped accessible. Both buildings are available by appointment at any time by calling 217-289-3480.

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