On Saturday, March 29th, several South Valley Jr. High students took an optional field trip to the James Farm in Kearney, Missouri. The farm is the setting for much of Guerrilla Season and we can step into the cabin described in the novel.
Our first stop at the James Farm is the visitor center where we watched a great 25 minute video describing the James family and the history of the farm. We then walked through the museum with artifacts from various family members. Some of the most interesting items were the James family Bible, the boots Jesse was wearing when he was shoot and killed, the guns he owned and numerous other family items. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the museum but the James Farm web site does have some pictures posted.
We then walked out to the original James home for a tour. The home has had additions built on in the 1890's and 1930's but the original cabin is still there. It was an incredible feeling to be standing where the family ate, slept and lived.
Mr. Langhorst wants to thank the students who took time from their busy Saturday morning to visit the site. Other students would have liked to attend but were active in other activities. We also want to thank the South Valley Jr. High Parent Student Teacher Association which paid for the bus transportation and admission through a grant.
If you have any questions for the students who attended the field trip to the farm please leave a comment to this post. Please leave your answer below by click on the "comments" link and then responding using your pen name under your comment and then selecting "anonymous" Please use correct grammar and remember to not include your first and last name.
Pat had the following information to add about the pictures and the trip to the farm:
Very cool - I'm so jealous, wish I could have come along.
For the uninitiated - the bottom picture is the site of Jesse's original grave, in the family's front yard. His mom, Zerelda, wanted him close to her so she could watch out for grave robbers. Also, at one time Jesse's grave was shaded by the infamous coffee bean tree, from which Dr. Samuel was hanged by the Union militia. The coffee bean tree fell victim to a lightning strike a some point in time. Jesse's remains are no longer in this grave. He was moved to a cemetery right near the town of Kearney, called Centerville during the Civil War.
The pic right above the grave shows a typical plow of the period - like one that Jesse or Matt would have used. of course it would have been attached to animals - horses or mules, most likely - and the plower would hold the handles. It's hard to read the tiny type but the sign tells farm visitors that young Jesse was plowing the fields when the Union militia arrived to terrorize the faimly - hanging Dr. S and chasing Jesse through the corn rows to beat him with whips.
The middle picture shows the original log cabin and you can see how the chinking is put in between the logs. I believe that at the time of the Civil War, the Samuel family already had clapboard (well, that's what we call it in New England) over the logs but someone correct me if I'm wrong.
The two top pictures show two porches on the house - one of them would have existed at the time of "Guerrilla Season," and one not. One was from a newer portion of the house. It's been a few years since I was there, so I can't remember which was which. Maybe someone who made the trip can enlighten us about which of these porches Mrs. S. would have been sitting the night of the party, sewing Jesse's guerrilla shirt! - Pat