Local students step into the Oak Harbor Log Cabin and step back in time

May 21, 2024 | Schools | 0 comments

Students learn how Oak Harbor residents washed clothes in the 1860s. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

For a couple of days, area children had the chance to step back in time. On May 14 and 15, the Oak Harbor Log Cabin welcomed over 100 third graders from R.C. Waters Elementary School and St. Boniface Catholic School. Volunteers taught the students about the daily lives of the village’s early residents.

“The lessons connect with state social studies standards,” said Log Cabin Committee President Jane Whitaker. “They have to compare life in the area where they live, from the 1860s to the present.”

Students sample butter they helped make at the Oak Harbor Log Cabin. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

The students learned about the Great Black Swamp, saw the cramped living quarters of a cabin, helped make homemade butter, listened to instructions on plucking and cooking a chicken, and learned that students sometimes had to walk two miles to get to school.

As the children sampled the butter they made, a student asked if “women were the only ones to get food.”

“Men helped clean chickens and take care of the cattle. They were often out working in the fields,” said volunteer Bonnie Gyde.

Over 100 local third graders visited the Oak Harbor Log Cabin to learn about life in the 1860s. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Volunteers gave a 19th century clothes-washing demonstration and allowed students to try their hand at a manual wringer washing machine.

“It sometimes took three to four days to get your laundry done,” a volunteer told them.

Life in Oak Harbor today, the students learned, is very different than it was 160 years ago.

“I didn’t know that’s how they made butter,” said R.C. Waters student Elia Lehman. “I was surprised by what they do with the clothes.”

R.C. Waters students learn about early village life in the Oak Harbor Log Cabin. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

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