Historic dairy MOOseum schedules grand opening
Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 8:01 pm
The historic dairy barn in Montgomery County, Md., that has become a unique MOOseum to showcase the history of local dairy farming has scheduled a grand opening celebration. Known officially as the King Barn Dairy MOOseum, the 10,000 square foot barn and two silos will officially open to the public on Oct. 23.
The public is invited to enjoy MOOsic by the New Southern Cowtippers, beginning at 5 p.m. that day, followed by ribbon cutting at 5:30 and a wine and cheese reception from 6-8:00. The MOOseum is located in the South Germantown Recreational Park at 18028 Central Park Circle, off Md. Route 118.
MOOseum representatives are inviting local, county and state officials to take part in the official grand opening, after nearly a dozen years of planning and preparation. The MOOsic and ribbon cutting are open without cost to the general public, including a clogging demonstration by Rock and Candy. The public is also welcome to attend the following wine and cheese benefit reception by advance reservation. Tickets are $30 per person by mailing a check made out to “King Barn Dairy MOOseum,” P.O. Box 76, Boyds, MD 20841. The reception includes a silent auction with heirloom and industry memorabilia.
The historic 1930’s dairy barn is all that remains of the James and Macie King farm-stead, one of hundreds of successful family farms that flourished in the Washington, D.C. far suburbs to serve the Nation’s Capital. Its rolling acres were converted a decade ago into the South Germantown Recreational Park, where over a million visitors now annually picnic, exercise, and take advantage of numerous sports venues. More than 300 dairy farms once operated in Montgomery County, MD throughout most of the 20th century. The MOOseum is designed to educate current and future generations on the source of their food, especially the story of milk production, helping to bridge the gap between producer and consumer.
Educational features are included for all ages, including a life-size milking Holstein cow, a scale model replica of the King farmstead, as well as exhibits and tours related to the production, processing, and marketing of milk and milk products. The MOOseum collection includes milk coolers, cream separators, milk bottles and cans, butter churns, milkers and other dairy industry artifacts.
The Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission (MNCPPC) purchased the King family farm in the late 1960’s, in preparation for the proposed regional park. The dairy farm continued to operate until 1998, when changes in the Park’s master plan called for all farmstead buildings, including the dairy barn, to be demolished. Community members worked hard to save the farmstead, and the effort resulted in saving the King dairy barn. In 1999, knowing the dairy barn would remain standing, a descendent of the King family organized a volunteer committee to develop a dairy museum later named the MOOseum. Planning, design, and permits took nearly ten years, until construction crews began work in October 2009. The MOOseum opened on an interim basis in June.
Published in The Messenger 10.12.10