John R. Park Homestead & Conservation Area, Essex

#10 of 26 in Things to do in Essex
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
A visit to the John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area will take you back in time to the 1850s. The house and farm buildings of John and Amelia Park are restored to bring the nineteenth century to life. Explore the Parks’ magnificent Classical Revival home, built in 1842, taste baking from the kitchen fireplace or play with a wooden toy in the children’s bedrooms. See the workings of an 1885 steam engine-powered sawmill and stop by the blacksmith shop to witness the making of small hardware and repairing of farm tools at the coal-fired forge. Don’t miss the working smoke house, ice house and barn. For a breath of fresh air, take a scenic walk on the lakeshore boardwalk. Be sure to check out the gift shop and exhibit area. You can also take in the theatre where an audio-visual presentation will transport you back in time to John Park’s day. And there’s more! Each spring we plant the garden with heirloom crops, flowers and vegetables. In the summer, livestock are a popular addition.

Thousands of school children attend field trips here each year for hands-on learning opportunities about pioneer life and the importance of preserving our heritage. Many special events are held each year, so be sure to check out the Homestead’s events calendar to learn more. The Homestead is also available to rent for meetings, special events, weddings and showers.

The John R. Park Homestead is open May to October Sunday through Thursday 11am – 4pm. More limited hours available November through April. Group bookings available anytime by advance appointment.
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John R. Park Homestead & Conservation Area reviews

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22 reviews
  • The staff and experience at John R. Park was amazing! The tour was informative and very interesting!  more »
  • A delightful farm setting complete with animals, artifacts and furnished home. Guide knowledgeable about local history and the view of Lake Erie priceless...  more »
  • The Maple Fest was great. Kids enjoyed watching the blacksmith, checking out the mill and sawing a log. The volunteers in their period costumes were very happy to answer any questions we had.
  • Went for the maple syrup festival and really enjoyed it. Very knowledgeable staff on hand to explain all the steps involved. Activities for the kids to try out too.

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