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