Students get a taste of one-room school life

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Retired teacher Yvonne Weber of New Ulm leads elementary students in a one room school house experience at the Brown County Fairgrounds Tuesday. The Brown County Historical Society offered a living history camp about all aspects of a school day in the 19th century.

NEW ULM — About a dozen elementary school students participated in a living history camp centering on a one-room school house experience for grades K-5 at the Brown County Fairgrounds Tuesday.

Sponsored by the Brown County Historical Society, students carried water and wrote with feather ink pens and plays games students may have played in the late 1800s-style school house.

Students were encouraged to wear 19th century clothing including long skirts, aprons, bonnets, bib overalls, knickers, shirts and shoes. Each child brought a cold lunch in a basket or pail.

Authentic country school suggested cold lunches were peanut butter or jelly sandwiches, cold pancakes with sugar, fresh fruit, vegetables, donuts or cookies. No glass bottles or containers.

Mankato 1st grader Grant Reichel said he enjoyed some of the school games the students played.

“It was really fun to hide buttons and then try to find them,” Reichel said.

Mankato 4th grader Wyatt Reichel said he enjoyed the experience too.

“It’s really fun to experience what it was like in 1888,” Reichel said.

Isabella Williams of New Ulm, who will be a 4th-grader at Lafayette Charter School this fall, said she enjoyed making new friends and getting a feel for school in the olden days.

Avery Burkhart, who will be a 1st grader in Maple Grove in the fall, enjoyed it all too.

“I enjoy school. Using ink pens like this for the first time is fun, but not easy,” she said.

Students will experience the living history camp at the school on Thursday, June 13. Pre-registration with the BCHS is required. For more information, call 507-233-2620.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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