ARTHUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Farmers typically learn from prior generations, and it is the same way with Amish farmers. Their way of farming was on display last weekend at the Illinois Amish Heritage Center in Arthur.

“To essentially preserve and recreate the farming techniques and activities of the late 19th and early 20th century,” said historical consultant Tom Vance. “Particularly with the Amish, they are interested in subsequent generations knowing how it was done in the past.”

Vance said there are technology changes within Amish agriculture.

“A lot of their farming techniques are from the 19th century, but there are a lot of other things like the steam threshing that they don’t do today that a lot of the Amish are very interested in, participating in,” Vance said. “There’s older Amish that did steam threshing the way we are doing it back in the past, and they want their kids to see it.”

Construction at the facility is progressing.

“Shrock House is pretty much finished. The Yoder House, we’ve got quite a bit to do inside yet, and we have funding to do it at this point and the contractor is trying to free up his time because the contractors are very busy right now,” Vance said. “So it’s not proceeding as fast as we’d like it to, but it’s slowly but surely.”

“We have a barn that we took down back in February and March. It was located four miles west of Arthur, the Miller barn,” Vance continued. “Part of it is in storage, the timbers are being reworked by a company up in Galesburg, and we’re going to do a big barn raising at some point; we are hoping this fall, but we don’t know for sure. But that will give us a large barn, an historic barn.”

There are also plans to build a visitors center and museum so younger Amish and the rest of us can learn about their unique culture.