What is in this article?:
- Virginia farm museum testament to agriculture
- Knew enough to be dangerous
• Stanley Hula began collecting antique tractors and farm equipment in the late 1990s and in 2003, the Hula family opened Renwood Fields Farm Museum. In 2007, he began in earnest filling up the museum.
Charles City, Va., farmers David and Johnny Hula have made a practice of winning state and national yield contests in recent years. Growing high yielding grain crops is their livelihood, but growing ultra-high yielding crops in national competition is more of a hobby.
For their father, Stanley Hula, his hobby is a bit different. David Hula jokes, “I tell him he’s spending my inheritance and he says he’s investing it.”
Stanley Hula’s hobby, though one with the potential to provide farm income, is collecting antique farm equipment and signs. This is not your typical farm collection of antiques — not by a long shot. The elder Hula pursues his passion for collecting things every bit as doggedly as his sons pursue top yielding, competitive grain crops.
He began collecting antique tractors and farm equipment in the late 1990s and in 2003, the Hula family opened Renwood Fields Farm Museum. In 2007, he began in earnest filling up the museum.
“My wife and I collected every item in this room says Stanley Hula, pointing to the main museum showroom. Nothing in here has been restored — it’s all in original condition.” In another wing of the building, Hula notes there are some items under restoration, but none in the main museum.
In addition to the museum, the Hulas have a maze and a petting zoo with some unusual farm animals. The maze is one of only seven like it in the world. It was all done by hand with a hoe — no GPS.
The maze is 2.5 miles of path in a five-acre field. Most people take about 45 minutes to get through it. We have lifeguards to help people who can’t find their way out — and that happens, says Hula.
“Every year we say this will be the last — there just isn’t as much traffic as we had hoped, but seeing the look in the eyes of the 4,000-5,000 people who do come out here, makes it all worthwhile,” he says.
The museum’s showroom is still the centerpiece of Renwood Fields Farm Museum. Upon entering the showroom, one of the first and most impressive things visitors see is the pristine farm signs that cover the walls.