Our History

The Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums got its start in September 1970 during the Agricultural History Society conference at Old Sturbridge Village.  A group of individuals got together at the meeting to discuss a new kind of museum –living history farms.  By November 1970, The Association for Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM’s original name) was official, and the first issue of the Living Historical Farms Bulletin came of the press in December.  When ALHFAM was incorporated in the state of Maryland in 1972 John T. Schlebecker, Smithsonian Institution, Wayne D. Rasmussen, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Ernst T. Christensen, National Park Service signed on as the first directors.  From this humble beginning, ALHFAM has grown into an international organization for people who bring history to life.

From the beginning, the appeal of ALHFAM extended beyond those working in farm and agricultural museums. The agricultural historians who founded the organization soon found themselves joined by folklorists and living history re-enactors.  A well-placed comma in 1998 changed the organizational name to the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums in recognition of the expanded membership. [Expanded Version as a PDF]

The Past Presidents of ALHFAM

  • 1970-1971 William G. Murray
  • 1972 Darwin P. Kelsey
  • 1973 John T. Schlebecker
  • 1974 Daryl Chase
  • 1975 Ernst Christensen
  • 1976 Wayne D. Rasmussen
  • 1977 Dale Bennett
  • 1978 Steve Lewis
  • 1979 Edward L. Hawes
  • 1980 Peter H. Cousins
  • 1981 Thomas A. Brown
  • 1982 Ron Kley
  • 1983 Nancy C. Campbell
  • 1984 Candace T. Matelic
  • 1985 George Paloheimo
  • 1986 William B. Reid
  • 1987 Wayne Randolph
  • 1988 Ronald Westphal
  • 1989 Donna R. Braden
  • 1990 Thomas A. Woods
  • 1991-1993 Peter Ledwith
  • 1993-1995 Bob Benz
  • 1995-1997 Katie Boardman
  • 1997-1999 John Patterson
  • 1999-2001 Sue Hanson
  • 2001-2003 Steve Miller
  • 2003-2005 John Caramia
  • 2005-2007 Lynne Belluscio
  • 2007-2009 Charles LeCount
  • 2009-2011 Bruce Henbest
  • 2011-2013 Pete Watson
  • 2013-2015 Debra A. Reid
  • 2015-2017 Tom Kelleher
  • 2017-2019 Deb Arenz

Past Secretary/Treasurers

  • John T. Schlebecker  1975-1977
  • Terry Scharrer 1977-1979
  • John T. Schlebecker 1980-1988
  • George Paloheimo 1988-1995
  • Judith Sheridan 1995-2016
  • Edward D. Baker 2016-2017
  • Tom Kelleher 2017-2018



ALHFAMP.O. Box 16, Rochdale, MA 01542 - info@alhfam.org

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