Second graders from Ferndale elementary schools are visiting the pioneer cabins at Pioneer Park this month to experience what day-to-day life in Ferndale was like in early pioneer days. Members of the Ferndale Heritage Society are on hand in period clothing hosting the tours (photos courtesy of the Ferndale School District) as part of the School Tours Education Program.
The students have lots to keep them busy during the tours as they move from cabin to cabin.
- They learn about logging, planting and harvesting and how that was part of life.
- They get to grind grains to create flour to be used later in the tour.
- Inside the students are able to do laundry using a washtub and hand-crank wringer.
- They get to grind coffee the hands-on way.
- They learn about hay stuffed bedding and get to make a bed in that way.
- They use the flour they ground earlier to make and knead dough for rolls.
- Outside the students use a bucksaw to cut a log on a sawbuck.
- Then they use a froe and mallet to split the cut log.
- Students get to make candles and discover the challenges of using them to light the cabin for hours. They get to do the math to figure out how many candles are needed for a month.
Trudder Post Office
- They learn about all that was involved and the time it took for mail to arrive to the post office.
Holeman House (school)
- They take their seats and do an writing assignment using quill pens and ink.
- They are treated to stories about the church and how it was a family’s house before. Tales of the family and their kids keep the students enthralled as they find themselves experiencing a harder but in many ways a better life “back-in-the-day.”
You and your visiting out-of-town friends are able to take similar pioneer cabin tours with the wonderful Ferndale Heritage Society hosts later in the year. Tours are provided from May 15 to September 15, Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30am to 4:30pm. It is recommended to allow 1.5 to 2 hours for a tour but there’s no limit.