Cobblestone Farm Association
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 Books in the Gift Shop
Mice have invaded the CFA Gift Shop in the Cobblestone Farmhouse . . .

... but not to worry, they’re not in the candy jars; they’re in the bookrack.

Three Read-With-Me Stories for Grown-ups and Others are available for adults and children who enjoy reading together. It’s a great way to learn to read and a creative way to learn history. Authored by David Park Williams and Helen Cooper Williams and illustrated by Sonya R. Speights, all the Mouse Stories’ characters are found in Ann Arbor history.

These excellent local historical fantasies are on sale in the CFA Gift Shop at $5 each. The CFA Gift Shop holds countless items detailing the history of the Farm and farm life in general. From old-fashioned stick candy to dolls and toys for kids, it is a repository of fascinating and inexpensive novelties to commemorate your visit to Cobblestone Farm Museum.

In The Doctor’s Mouse, a sleigh accident is described: “Oh, yes! He was in Dr. Ticknor’s black bag which was usually next to the cozy fire in the Doctor’s sitting room. The doctor had left it open, and Tick had crawled in for a warm snooze…”

In A Mouse Wedding Dance, Tick and Nettie describe springtime on the farm: "The mice chose Sunday morning buggy rides when Dr. and Mrs. Ticknor drove to St. Andrewís Church." Later on, they dance to tunes that could have been played for the Cobblestone Farm Country Dancers in "Harvest Mouse Cotillions" and "The Barnyard Quadrille."

At the end of Belling the Old Grey Cat, Mrs. Ticknor says, “Today I’m going into Ann Arbor to buy mouse traps. She did that, too. And that is how Tick, the dancing master, also became a school teacher. He ran classes on avoiding cats and other predators. He ran classes on being invisible and inaudible. And he ran classes on how to get cheese from a mouse trap without getting caught.”

“The Operation, Care and Repair of Farm Machinery” [Jeff Stephenson donated this antique 1837 book to the CFA collection and Board member Cathy Meade reviews it here.]

This book was intended to be used as a textbook to train people to repair farm machinery. It appears to have been instigated by The John Deere Company. Their company is in Moline, Illinois and it was printed in Moline. This is the book’s tenth edition and the prefaces is signed, “John Deere.”

John Deere (1804-1886) was born in Vermont and worked as an apprentice blacksmith. By 1825 he was famous for the literal and figurative polish of his farm equipment. When the Vermont economy began to suffer in 1886, Deere moved west to Detour, Illinois. He and other farms in the area noticed that the plows from the east were not able to work the tough prairie soils. Farmers had to stop every few feet to scrape the earth from their plows.

Deere, with help from a fellow Vermonter, invented the self-polishing plow. In 1886 he had a Pittsburgh company roll the country’s first cast iron steel plow. Deere mass-produced his plows and then took them on sales tours. His business was incorporated in 1886.

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