Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marigold Meadows on the Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive

The first two full weekends in October is the anniversary of the Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive. This festival “celebrates the history of the people, land and river at the heart” of Fulton County, Illinois where I was raised and has drawn tens of thousands of people each year.
In 1915, Edgar Lee Masters published his Spoon River Anthology, which would eventually introduce the region to a worldwide audience. Masters, the observer, poet, author, and attorney, grew up in Spoon River County during the 1890s, experiencing the beauty of its hills and valleys and the ironies of the small-town folks. The Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive traverses this landscape that Masters knew winding amid both subtle scenery and the occasional spectacular views.

The annual event attracts visitors from all over the world for fall scenery, arts, crafts, music, food, produce, historic sites, museums, old-time farming, collectibles, antiques, and dramatic readings from Masters’ Anthology. – Fulton County, Illinois Visitor’s Guide ( and


Noted for Art Jones’ demonstrations of old-time farming with draft horses, a working sawmill, home of common and not so common barnyard animals, and Marcia Jones’ lip-smackin’, poppin’ fresh pies cooked in a wood burning oven, Marigold Meadows is one of the “hot spots” on the Scenic Drive. Fulton County has always been in my blood, but Marigold Meadows is the place where Gary and I now call home. Having recently purchased Marigold Meadows, we’re even more excited about the Scenic Drive than ever before!

This year, on October 6 & 7, 13 & 14th, shimmering fall colors will once again be the back-drop for:
· multiple teams of mighty draft horses harvesting fields and working the ground for next year’s crops.
· a sawmill abuzz preparing lumber for future buildings.
· kittens and cows, goats and pigs, chickens, peacocks and more showing off their barnyard home.
· a new addition to the farm this year, blacksmiths will be fanning the flames necessary to forge iron for farm equipment repairs and household needs.
· farmhands demonstrating their skills: Spinning, weaving, and candlestick makers are a few of the possibilities.
Marigold Meadows is a busy, yet enjoyable place to be.
You may even have the chance to drive a horse,
ride a horse drawn wagon, hand-pick corn, spin some wool and more!

It’s not easy for me to choose a favorite activity on the farm. For me, working the horses is just as rewarding as baking a pie. Speaking of pies and favorite activities… I’ve heard it said by many visitors that delighting in the results of the enticing aroma wafting from the log cabin is hard to beat! Can you imagine baking 80 fruits pies in a wood burning oven in one day? It happens at Marigold Meadows and we would come near to bettin’ ya that Marcia’s results can’t be matched for miles around! We double dare ya to come for a bite or two and taste for yourself!

It doesn’t get much better than sitting around a campfire with family and friends on a cool autumn night listening to knee slappin’ music. That’s what we do Saturday evenings on the farm and we’d love to have you join us!

Some people refer to their trip to Marigold Meadows as “stepping back in time;” we call it “living the Whole-Hearted Life today!”

You can find more information about, a map to Marigold Meadows and read more about living the whole-hearted life at You may also contact us at

If you’d like more hands-on experience driving horses, planting gardens, canning, making soap, etc, we’re making plans to offer classes, as well as opportunities for you to come stay a spell for extended learning. We’d love to hear from you if you have an interest in teaching, learning or reminiscing about living the Whole-Hearted Life.



P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:

Bonnie Jaeckle

In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life

Diagonal Progress

505 Jefferson St.

Diagonal, IA 50845


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