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.
Board of Directors
Second Vice President
Haley I. M. Strong
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
Keep in Step with Steppingstone
Steppingstone's Volunteer Corner
Thank you to all the Volunteers that have helped out at or with past events!
-Volunteer Meeting: May 10th at 6:30pm, Studio
-Upcoming Volunteer Meeting: June 14th at 6:30pm, Studio
- 2022 Memberships are still available
@ The Museum
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 email@example.com
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.
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:
Kelly Mechanical Services, Inc.
Tarring-Cargo Funeral Home, P.A.
Walter G Coale INC.
Aimee O'Neill & Co., Inc.
Craig Lake & Dawn Fischer
Hopkins Farm Brewery
Peg & Bill Bossemeyer
Harford County Farm Bureau
Gareth & Mary Dirlam
Ron & Shirley Querns
Steve & Cherie Christy