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6/7/07 - Gilford Third Graders enjoy their visit to Meetinghouse

Written by: Kathy Lacroix

Gilford’s Historical Society enjoys sharing our heritage with our third grade students and today I will continue to share excerpts from some of their thank you letters. We enjoy reading their letters and knowing that they appreciate their visits. Autumn wrote, “Thank you for giving us the tour of the Meetinghouse and life in the 1800’s. You made it so interesting with your costumes.”

Each class spent twenty minutes rotating through four areas/stations. Sue Maupin and Diane Mitton took turns welcoming each group to the station that involved learning about the use of quill pens and then wooden pens with metal nibs and then actually writing with both quill and wooden pens. Olivia wrote, “My favorite station was when we used the different pens, but alas, we only had a little while at each station.” Mark wrote,” I enjoyed learning how to write with a quill pen. It was fun. I had to write lightly with the quill so that I would not break the point.” Tyler asked a question, “I wonder how long it would take to write a letter with a feather? I know it would take a long time for me!”

A second station gave the students a chance to play with wooden toys. On different days, either Peter Allen or Diane Mitton enjoyed this activity with them. Logan wrote, “ My favorite toys were Jacob’s Ladder and the climbing bears.” When he also added, “It was one of my favorite trips ever. Nice job, all of you!” we all beamed as we read this. William wrote, “My favorite toy was the big top.” Codi wrote,” My favorite toy was the climbing bears, because it taught you how to milk a cow.” In this age of computer games, it was gratifying to know that boys and girls still enjoy some of the simple toys such as those their great-grandparents enjoyed.

Carol Anderson, ably assisted by daughter Sarah, gave a tour of four areas lined up along the side of the Meetinghouse. They are the Military Area, Town Hall, Winter Sports, and the Victorian Room. In the Town Hall area the students learned what phones were like in an earlier time. The operator would ring your number, that you had to share a party line with your neighbors and that they might listen in on your conversations because they could hear the phone ring. Natasha wrote, “The phone was really interesting and fun.” Concerning one item in the Victorian Room, Taylor wrote, “I enjoyed the hair wreath. I remember when you showed us how much hair you probably cut off, I quickly grabbed my hair. I would never cut it. But that was awesome to see! You are the best volunteers ever!”

Retired third grade teacher Kathy Lacroix greeted the students in the fourth station set up to represent a one-room schoolhouse in Gilford. Shannon wrote, “I enjoyed learning what it was like to go to school in a one room school house. I learned that if the students did something bad they would have to sit in a corner and wear a dunce cap.” Hannah wrote, “I didn’t know that they had to stand to talk. But I already knew that they had to raise their hand.” Hailey wrote, “I learned that on May 2, 1939 Gilford Elementary School opened.” We have a photo of the school as it was back then and they were amazed to learn that there were only four classrooms when the school originally opened. There were grades one through eight; they would have shared a room with the fourth grade.

After the groups had rotated though all four areas/stations they returned to their seats in the center of the room where they were asked to share what they had learned that was interesting to them. It is always interesting how different students pick up on different details.

I also want to thank our timekeepers, Yvette Johnson and Elizabeth Mead, for seeing that we adhered to our schedule and did not talk beyond our allotted time. We also thank Mrs. Cozart and her class for their thank you letters. They let us all know that they enjoyed and appreciated their field trip. Autumn summed it up when she wrote, “Thank you for giving your hard work and time to us at all the stations. The Meetinghouse was a lot of fun. (I mean a lot of fun.) I just want you to know how much I appreciate everything you did for our class.”

I think besides learning about our heritage, the classes are also learning the skill of writing thank you letters. Thank you, Mrs. Cozart’s class.

For information about Gilford’s historical society and a listing of upcoming events, go to www.gilfordhistoricalsociety.org, e-mail at thoames@worldpath.net, or call at 527-9009.