Emaly Allison is a Heritage Interpreter...and TikTok Star

by Billy Chandler
Emaly Allison is right where she wants to be: standing on a frozen lake.

Emaly is a heritage interpreter at Kline Creek Farm, an 1890s living history farm just outside of Chicago.  Her job is to interpret the lifeways of 1890s living, and this includes dressing the part, taking care of the farm animals, processing harvests, and ice harvesting.

This winter, Emaly joined fellow interpreters, each wearing period clothing as they harvested ice from the top of Timber Lake – a small lake on the farm’s property. They worked together to  saw, hoist, and haul off giant slabs of ice. Then they carried it by wagon to an ice house where it was put in storage to be used on the farm.

Emaly and crew harvesting ice from Timber Lake. The farm recently added a TikTok account to share the work of their farm, and this video of the ice harvest set to the soundtrack of the movie Frozen has been their most popular post to-date. In fact, this video has more than 18.6 MILLION views. That’s not a typo.

Emaly says the attention has been great for their living museum. “People saw the TikTok video and said, ‘Hey! I live just down the road from this!’ and now we’re getting more visitors as a result.”

Kline Creek Farm gets roughly half a million visitors every year, with guests ranging from small children who get to learn about the workings of a farm to older patrons who enjoy the attention to history.

And because the farm is part of a larger forest preserve, visitors also get to learn about conservation farming as well as the realities of farm predators that occur naturally in nature. “We keep sheep and chickens and cows…and we also have to share space with coyotes and raccoons and hawks. It’s another great teaching opportunity!”

Emaly got the history interpretation bug while doing a summer internship at the Carl Sandburg House in North Carolina. It didn’t take long for her to realize this is what she wanted to do. So she added a certificate in public history to her double major in history and civic innovation, and then added a master’s degree in public history from the University of West Florida. Now she’s working in the public history field – both literally and figuratively.

And…she’s a social media star.

Enjoy a full conversation with Emaly on the Duck Pond Wall podcast.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1339-got-a-minute-read-about-mike-d-before-his"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/24,0,286,261/8430_Specialty_Foods_Awards_2018.rev.1597171064.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/24,0,286,261/8430_Specialty_Foods_Awards_2018.rev.1597171064.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/24,0,286,261/8430_Specialty_Foods_Awards_2018.rev.1597171064.jpg" alt="Mike De Los Santos, aka Mike D, E&H reClass of 2006" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="262" data-max-h="261" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1339-got-a-minute-read-about-mike-d-before-his">Got a Minute? Read about Mike D before his television debut!</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Mike De Los Santos (E&H Reunion Class of 2006) will be featured in a Discovery Channel reality show starting Aug. 18, 2020. <a href="/live/news/1339-got-a-minute-read-about-mike-d-before-his" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2454-cristin-colvin-is-not-like-other-musicians"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,134,2136,2272/12026_headshot2019_2.rev.1662684881.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,134,2136,2272/12026_headshot2019_2.rev.1662684881.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,134,2136,2272/12026_headshot2019_2.rev.1662684881.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,134,2136,2272/12026_headshot2019_2.rev.1662684881.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,134,2136,2272/12026_headshot2019_2.rev.1662684881.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,134,2136,2272/12026_headshot2019_2.rev.1662684881.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,134,2136,2272/12026_headshot2019_2.rev.1662684881.jpg" alt="Cristin Colvin Emory & Henry Class of 2009" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,134,2136,2272/12026_headshot2019_2.rev.1662684881.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,134,2136,2272/12026_headshot2019_2.rev.1662684881.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2136" data-max-h="2138" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2454-cristin-colvin-is-not-like-other-musicians">Cristin Colvin Is Not Like Other Musicians</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Cristin is pushing against the gatekeepers.</p><a href="/live/news/2454-cristin-colvin-is-not-like-other-musicians" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1199-eamphs-rodes-fishburne-launches-new-television"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/34,9,356,331/8013_Rodes_fishburne.rev.1586652695.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/34,9,356,331/8013_Rodes_fishburne.rev.1586652695.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/34,9,356,331/8013_Rodes_fishburne.rev.1586652695.jpg" alt="Rodes Fishburne, E&H Class of 1993" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="322" data-max-h="322" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1199-eamphs-rodes-fishburne-launches-new-television">E&H’s Rodes Fishburne Launches New Television Series</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><em>Paradise Lost</em> debuts April 13, 2020. <a href="/live/news/1199-eamphs-rodes-fishburne-launches-new-television" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/893-emory-henry-made-all-the-difference"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,147,2220,1835/6551_66257874_2424062467823220_760622803857702912_n.rev.1563304661.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,147,2220,1835/6551_66257874_2424062467823220_760622803857702912_n.rev.1563304661.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,147,2220,1835/6551_66257874_2424062467823220_760622803857702912_n.rev.1563304661.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,147,2220,1835/6551_66257874_2424062467823220_760622803857702912_n.rev.1563304661.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,147,2220,1835/6551_66257874_2424062467823220_760622803857702912_n.rev.1563304661.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,147,2220,1835/6551_66257874_2424062467823220_760622803857702912_n.rev.1563304661.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,147,2220,1835/6551_66257874_2424062467823220_760622803857702912_n.rev.1563304661.jpg" alt="Rachel Harrison, E&H Class of 2019, at the duck pond. Dr. Foye Gibson, by the way, was the E&H president who brought the pond to ..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,147,2220,1835/6551_66257874_2424062467823220_760622803857702912_n.rev.1563304661.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,147,2220,1835/6551_66257874_2424062467823220_760622803857702912_n.rev.1563304661.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1689" data-max-h="1688" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/893-emory-henry-made-all-the-difference">Emory & Henry Made All the Difference</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Rachel Harrison (E&H ’19) gleaned the full Emory & Henry experience before graduating. <a href="/live/news/893-emory-henry-made-all-the-difference" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/310-eamph-dog-brings-home-westminster-honors"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/33,0,519,486/3378_unnamed.rev.1519749000.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/33,0,519,486/3378_unnamed.rev.1519749000.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/33,0,519,486/3378_unnamed.rev.1519749000.jpg" alt="Dog Show Winner: Bob (E&H '69) and Sharon Moreland's dog Louie, a 2-year-old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, won the Best of O..." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="486" data-max-h="486" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/310-eamph-dog-brings-home-westminster-honors">E&H Dog Brings Home Westminster Honors!</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Bob Moreland, E&H ’69, has a dog who just placed in the Westminster Dog Show! <a href="/live/news/310-eamph-dog-brings-home-westminster-honors" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2642-eric-drummond-smith-where-politics-and-art-collide"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,375,375/12782_Eric_Smith.rev.1669858087.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,375,375/12782_Eric_Smith.rev.1669858087.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,375,375/12782_Eric_Smith.rev.1669858087.jpg" alt="Dr. Eric Drummond Smith E&H Class of 1998" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="375" data-max-h="375" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2642-eric-drummond-smith-where-politics-and-art-collide">Eric Drummond Smith: Where Politics and Art Collide</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Dr. Eric Drummond Smith teaches politics at UVA-Wise, and is often called on to offer his pundit skills during an election cycle. But it’s hard to say whether he’s better known for his chops as a political scientist or as a well-known artist. <a href="/live/news/2642-eric-drummond-smith-where-politics-and-art-collide" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>