Friday, May 05, 2017

A visit from Iowa's best second-graders


Columbus School second-graders are, as you might expect, the best behaved, brightest and most promising in the state --- so it was lots of fun to welcome more than 80 of them to the Lucas County Historical Society campus Thursday morning.


The youngsters, divided into teams of approximately 10 and accompanied by teachers, moms and aides, walked over from the school before 9 a.m. and were greeted in Otterbein Church by Ann Moon, chair of the society Events Committee.


The second-grade staff had visited the museum earlier to plan the itinerary, so each student was equipped with --- in addition to a sack lunch --- a clipboard, pencil and a list of items to find at each of the nine stops planned during the morning. Volunteers were on hand at all of those stops to tell the youngsters a little about where they were and to help out with the search.

Once the church bell had sounded, the visitors were on their way --- each team moving from station to station in meticulously planned rotation.


Stops included Puckerbrush School, where Loren Burkhalter was on hand to welcome scholars.


Just around the corner was the pioneer cabin, where Kylie Dittmer assured the students that yes, indeed, entire families lived in tiny spaces like this back in Lucas County's earliest days.


Over at the Pioneer Barn, Bob Ulrich was on hand to talk about pioneer farming practices; and down in the blacksmith shop, Kay Brown explained a little about how some of the equipment --- including our forges --- one fixed and one portable --- were used.


Jim Secor was on hand to guide students through the Swanson machine shed gallery, and Kathleen Dittmer was stationed in the Lewis Building, directing attention to a few of the thousands of artifacts on display in its galleries.


Lucinda Burkhalter was waiting in the Stephens House to show the students around, downstairs and up.


But I --- who had done nothing other than follow touring parties around --- was so exhausted by this time I just sat on the sofa in the front parlor admiring the rug, waiting for everyone to come downstairs again.


Once everyone had finished touring --- about 11:30 a.m. --- sack lunches were collected and groups scattered across the lawns to eat a meal before heading back to Columbus.


It was a beautifully organized event on a beautiful day --- one of those occasions that makes everything involved in keeping an operation like the museum afloat seem more than worthwhile to all of the volunteers, board members, staff and society members who make it possible.

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