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Published: May 13, 2022

Stepping into the Past

160 years and 7 days ago the Homestead Act was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The act opened millions of acres of government owned land for purchase.  Homesteaders could move west, acquiring up to 160 acres for just $1.25 per acre, with the condition that they lived on the land and cultivated it for 5 years. This act accelerated the settlement of the western territory, however it did not help reduce the poverty level of the time. While the land was affordable, few poorer citizens could not afford to build a farm and a house from scratch or afford the tools to run a farm.

The act was worded very vaguely which allowed for cases of fraud. To make matters worse, modification to the Act only increased the problem. The Act was in effect from 1862-1904, homesteaders were able to acquire 80 million acres, with more going to speculators, cattle owners, miners, loggers, and railroads.


Steppingstone Farm Museum is operated by the Steppingstone Museum Association, Inc., a
private non-profit with a long term lease of the previous Paul farm property in Susquehanna State Park. This land is part of the Land of Promise tract from the first land survey in 1684. The museum was established in 1970 with the collections of Mr. J.E. Bull. After his passing in 1976, the museum moved to the Land of Promise in Susquehanna State Park. The museum demonstrates historic trades to the public from 11am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays from

April-October. The office is open year-round from
9am-2pm Tuesday- Friday and the grounds are open to foot, paw, hoof, and bike traffic from 9am to sunset every day.

The museum offers many special events throughout the season, private and school tours, special programs, and site rentals. These programs, gift shop sales, grants, memberships, and private  donations support the museum.

Calendar of Events

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Rowdy Rooster

5/3/24 - 5/5/23

$5 per car (workshops, disc golf and plien are additional)

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Saturday on the Farm


$5 for adults, free admission for members and children 15 and under.

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Saturday on the Farm


$5 for adults, free admission for members and children 15 and under.

Event Sign Ups

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Board of Directors
Ron Querns
(Acting) President
Teresa Stout
Second Vice President 
Robert Thresher
(Acting) Treasurer
Wendy O'Steen
Josephine Bodt
John Stanley
Amanda Hickman 
Mark Herman
Honorary Directors
Don Osman 
Carolyn Smith
Museum Staff
Haley I. M. Strong
Executive Director
Stephanie Kennedy 
Museum Manager
Katelyn Long​
Heather Uzdilla
Site Coordinator
Taylor Kennedy
Maintenance Personnel 

From the Desk of the Director
Haley I. M. Strong

We have had quite a few changes in the past month at the Museum and more on our horizon, but we are resilient as ever. With our recent Board changes and our upcoming staff change, we continue to keep focused on our mission and our upcoming events.

While we are navigating forward we have achieved a tremendous amount in the past month. The long awaited re-siding project of our beloved cannery building is almost complete. We have had repairs done to our public bathrooms, including reinstallation of the water heater for the men's restroom. The display barn floor has been repaired and is now ready for the public.

On the internal side of the Museum, memberships and volunteer involvement are up this year and we are full steam ahead with planning events. We are working on creating a strategic plan to lay a path forward and are excited for all the ideas and opportunities that are happening.

I personally, and on behalf of the Museum would like to thank your for supporting of us and our mission.

Steppingstone Wish List

The below items are needed at the museum. We will provide a donation letter for your tax deduction use.

Thank you for thinking of us!​

Our Amazon Wishlist can
be found by clicking



Season's Views


Keep in Step with Steppingstone



Steppingstone's Volunteer Corner
Thank you to all the Volunteers that have helped out at or with past events!

Ron Querns 

Dawn Thresher 

Robert Thresher 

Bridget Graff 

Wade Whitlock 

Karen Whitlock 

Madelyn Danner 

Gail Connolly 

Grace Sampson 

Ginger Sampson 

John Hughes

Johanna Davis 

Joe Cambria

Art Elsner 

Jim Pisciotta 

Gareth Dirlam 

John Stanley 

Gerry Scarfe 

Robin Evick 

Sean Lee 

Jo Bodt 

Bernie Bodt 


-Volunteer Meeting: May 10th at 6:30pm, Studio

-Upcoming Volunteer Meeting: June 14th at 6:30pm, Studio

- 2022 Memberships are still available


@ The Museum

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After much anticipation we are excited to announce that the Cannery has new siding! 

The Steppingstone Grind

With 23+ Buildings and 23 acres, the museum is more than what a team of 5 can handle. While we do our best to maintain the cleanliness of the property, we can always use help. The Grind is the place to find our chore list for the month. If you, or a group you belong to, would like to work on one of these projects please email Haley, Executive Director

Trim trees around and over coop

Fix sliding door (bottom rows)

Design and build handicap ramp

Wire brush, prime and paint front sign

Patch and paint window sills

Re-nail corner board and battens



Volunteers who wish to share Harford County’s agricultural history and authentic experiences with the community. We are always seeking new volunteers who enjoy interacting with the public as well as helping with the behind the scenes work. 

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Welcome to the Family


New and Renewing Members

Samantha Morter & Danney France

Rachel Sacrey & Travis Dunaway

Kapri & Geoff Stafford

Sarah Hewitt & James Mast

Brendon Heroux & Courtney Reil 

Sharon Comer & Ron Wickline 

Alexandra Protos & Brandon Saraceno 

John Boyer & Amanda Harvey 

Bailey Alampi & Mitchell Herzing


Congratulations to our new wedding members: 

Bernie Bodt

Bryon Bodt

Linda Bullis

Carole DeRan

Heather Hamilton

Lilma Huntley

Moira Kearney

Brenda Kinzinger

Christina Kramer

William Lee

Leocea McLanahan

Fred Ritzel

Gerry Scarfe

Kelly Mechanical Services, Inc.

John Stanley

Tarring-Cargo Funeral Home, P.A.

Walter G Coale INC.

Aimee O'Neill & Co., Inc.

Cathy Price 

Madelyn Danner 

Craig Lake & Dawn Fischer

Bridget Graff

John Stanley 

F.O. Mitchell

Hopkins Farm Brewery

Jay DuBree 

Bob Worthington

Mark Herman 

Elsner Family 

Peg & Bill Bossemeyer 

Harry Dutcher

Harford County Farm Bureau  

Alex Horneman

Mary Schweers 

Christina McLoughlin

Gareth & Mary Dirlam 

Ginger Sampson

Ron & Shirley Querns

Merianne Habel

Steve & Cherie Christy 

2022 Memberships are Available! 

Delightful Discoveries 


This time of year brings warmer weather, blooming flowers, and little groundhog babies! Our rather well fed groundhog that lives under the chicken coop had a litter of 4 pups recently. 

A glimpse back into time...
Images from this past month

When shopping on Amazon remember to use Amazon Smile and select Steppingstone Museum Association. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the museum. 

Thank You for your support!
Please share with your friends
and tell them about
"Your Country Retreat".

Steppingstone Farm Museum educational programs and historic preservation supported by grants from:

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Thank you to our Business Members!

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