Proud to be a Hometown Farmer - Milt Pennings Family Museum

Proud to be a Hometown Farmer - Milt Pennings Family Museum

Pennings family members can trace their history back a long way, and a lot of that is thanks to a man named Milt.

His daughter can easily take you on a tour of the "Milt Pennings Family Museum" near Orange City, where history can come alive... if you've got the legs for it.

"This was the evening entertainment long before there was television," said Lynnette Pennings, putting a music roll into an old player piano.

You can even see some old dairy equipment.

And it helps some folks relive the past.

"'Oh, I hated cleaning this thing!'" said Pennings, recalling what many an older visitor had said about the dairy equipment. "It has, I don't know how many dozen of these small metal disks that needed to be washed every single time that they used the separator."

But no trip to the museum would be complete without mentioning the elephant steer in the room.

"Bruno was a family pet, way back when I was in high school," said Lynnette.

At 3,440 lbs, Bruno was big, possibly the biggest steer ever.

"I don't think we've ever found anything bigger," said Lynnette.

She has fond memories of the big guy, like the time his average-sized steer roommate wound up missing.

"It turned out that he had lifted that steer up on his horns and tossed him over a fence," said Lynnette. "We found this steer sitting on a pile of bales, trying to figure out how to get down."

Stories like that are what the museum is all about: memories of the farm and a way of life, sometimes long before electricity.

Lynnette's dad Milt put the place together in his retirement, not just for his family's enjoyment, but for everyone to see.

"I think it's really important to be able to share those blessings and joys and challenges with kids," said Lynnette.

The Pennings say Bruno stands 7 ft. 1 in. tall!

If you have a group that would like to see inside the museum, please call Milt Pennings at (712) 737 - 8223.

If you think of a farmer that might be great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at:

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