Elementary students explore Bragg’s Homestead

Published 9:00 am Saturday, March 30, 2024

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Nestled in the heart of the Alabama Black Belt region lies Bragg’s Homestead, a historical working homestead dating back to 1828. This past week, the homestead welcomed the enthusiastic third graders of Greenville Elementary School, offering them hands-on experience in the life of a working homestead and the rich history of the area.

Demp Bell, the homestead’s spokesperson, spoke on the history of the homestead and expressed his excitement about hosting school field trips.

“It’s the home of Peter Newport Bragg, where the community gets its name,” Bell said. “Peter Bragg moved here in 1828, after fighting in the Revolutionary War. He fought in two of the major battles against General Cornwallis under the command of Nathan Green. Today these third graders are learning hands-on about the life of a working homestead and the history of the Alabama Black Belt region.”

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Bragg’s Homestead offers a unique blend of history and nature, providing students with a glimpse into the past while enjoying the great outdoors. Students explored various areas of the homestead, including a chicken coop, smokehouse, garden area, fruit orchard, vineyard, cane mill, Bragg house, cabin barn, apiary, and miles of nature trails.

During their visit, students participated in four engaging activities. They explored the Bee Yard, where the homestead’s beekeepers educated them on the importance of bees. They also received a history tour of the working homestead, followed by lessons on birding, plants, and wildlife in the region. Additionally, students took part in a wood project for the greenhouse.

“Being a part of the Little Builders Construction Project allowed the students to leave their mark on a lasting structure that they will hopefully revisit in the future,” said teacher Elizabeth Norman. “Mr. Demp was an extremely hospitable host to us teachers and our students. His staff was knowledgeable and kind, and we loved their costumes. We hope to go back next year and explore more.”

For Katie Till, a parent accompanying the students, the visit was more than just educational. 

“This is a wonderful experience for the kids to see how an old homestead worked and can still work today,” Till said. “It’s absolutely beautiful out here. The kids really had a blast hammering nails into the floor of what will be the greenhouse,” 

Braggs Homestead continues to be a beacon of history and nature, offering visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience daily life in the 1800’s as well as the beauty and diversity of the Alabama Black Belt region.