Ptick is a village 40 km from Minsk which was the location of the estate of the Elski family, whose most celebrated member was Michael Elski (1831-1906), a famous violinist and composer. The family was dispossessed by the combined effects of two World Wars and the October Revolution.
Eugene Buchim, a publisher, leased 162 ha of the former estate in 1992 and the open air museum opened in October 1994. It is linked with an adjacent hotel which includes a Russian sauna. The museum follows the pattern of other Skansen-type museums in Eastern Europe. It displays an Orthodox church with six onion domes, two windmills, a smithy, a pottery, a carpenter’s shop, a bakery, a beekeepers house a distillery for vodka, and a cheese factory. There are demonstrations of the weaving of straw and willow twigs, and arena activities include horse riding, jousting and archery. The museum keeps considerable numbers of domestic animals and also has a collection of vintage cars.