Learning about the good ol’ days

Published 2:09 pm Friday, November 14, 2008

What started out as one teacher’s new idea 18 years ago has become a steadfast annual tradition for the fourth graders in all four schools in Crenshaw County.

Today was “Pioneer Day” at the Crenshaw County Historical Society Museum where fourth graders got to witness corn shucking and shelling, Native American artifacts, and take a turn at using a cross-cut saw, just to name a few.

“This is a great way for the students to see up close how people lived so many years ago,” Historical Society member Kayo Sipper said. “They get the chance to draw water from a well and get a feel for how things were 100 years ago.”

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Historical Society member Patsy Owens got the idea for Pioneer Day when she was a fourth grade teacher at Luverne School in 1990.

“That summer, I had attended an Alabama history teachers’ workshop, and I came back with the idea to bring Alabama history to life for our students,” she said.

The annual event, which at first was only held at Luverne School, got moved to the Historical Society’s museum and cabins, and the other three schools in the county were invited to come as well.

Now, Luverne High School Junior Historical Society members and LHS Key Club members help each year with the tours. LHS teacher Matthew Pippin is the sponsor of the Jr. Historical Society, and Shirley Hartin sponsors the Key Club. This year, about 30 students helped with the event, which also adds to their club service hours.

“They’ve done a great job these last few years,” Owens said. “We don’t have many older Historical Society members to help do this anymore, so we really depend on the high school students.”

Students from Crenshaw Christian Academy, Luverne School, Brantley School, and Highland Home School attended the event.