By JIM LANGHAM
DHI Media Staff Writer
WERT — Third graders from Van Wert Elementary School attended a special
educational session provided by volunteers at the Van Wert County
Historical Society Museum on Thursday. Good spring weather combined with
a spirit of learning to allow local youngsters to learn about
buildings, lifestyle, people and heritage atmosphere from the Van Wert
area over a century ago.
“I learned things I didn’t know about
before,” commented third grader Carter Wright. “I didn’t know that they
picked up big hay forks to throw grass.”
“Our class likes to learn
about older stuff here,” commented Eella Wise. “We like it when they
tell us what they did back then. I like the way old wash machines
Wise said that students were given guide sheets with
questions to answer about what they had observed. As they heard
descriptions or saw items on their sheets, they would check them off.
educator Joe Steffan said that the visit to the museum is a follow-up
activity for a section on history that students studied in school. He
noted those attending are taught by volunteers in the old school, log
house, barn, trains and various other role playing sites.
noted that the log cabin had been donated by former Van Wert Treasurer
Harold Merkle. In the barn, Dwight Rhoades demonstrated the usage of
various farm tools and machinery. Connie Rhoades, as Miss Agnes, ran her
role play country school room with the strict discipline of a
yard-stick thumping old-time school teacher. Students interacted with
Rhoades as she taught various subjects, especially math quizzes.
official Larry Webb described what was discovered about the inner
portion and construction of the log house when it was moved to the
museum site, including the type of plaster used to solidify the walls at
Third grade teacher Cayla Wise noted that a total of
160 students, divided into a morning group and an afternoon group,
attended the day’s activities. She noted that one of the significant
reasons for the day is to demonstrate to students how times have changed
between the period represented in the museum and current days.
are always really impacted by this,” observed Wise. “They always come
back with lots of questions. Kids have appreciation for what they see,
especially when they get to see it first-hand.”