History of the McCormick Observatory

Walnut Grove - McCormick Family Homestead

Walnut Grove

Located at the Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center operated by Virginia Tech.


Walnut Grove house             Plaque for Walnut Grove

McCormick Homestead           Walnut Grove plaque     

School house              Walnut Grove house

Schoolhouse and Housekeeper's quarters            a second view of the house                      

Ice house site              Carriage house

Site of the ice house behind the house                 Carriage house                                 

House from across the farm             Plaque for Cyrus McCormick

The house can be seen up on the hill from the mill and blacksmith shop (left). Above is the plaque given to Cyrus McCormick, marking Walnut Grove as a National Landmark--the location where the mechanical reaper was invented.

McCormick Museum            original McCormick reaper model

The Blacksmith Shop (left) has been converted into a museum housing a model of a mechanical reaper (right).

Blacksmith ShopBlacksmith's fire hearthBlacksmith Shop equipment

The Blacksmith Shop (left) displays old farm equipment, smithing tools (center) and the fire hearth (right) which the McCormicks used to weld and fashion their equipment.

Gristmill and waterwheel

Grist Mill

Walk into Gristmill            Gears in the Gristmill

The mill was used to grind grain for the farm and is open to view the large cog wheels (right) at work.

Blacksmith Shop and Gristmill

Blacksmith Shop and Grist Mill