This year was no except and we even managed to make it to three different places. We started our morning off at the Mohawk Trail School Museum. This is just a small one room school house but the kids really enjoyed this stop since it was hands on. They could get up close to tiems and were allowed to touch many of them, sit in the desks, write on the slate tablets, etc. I think they would have been happy to stay there for a good part of the day. For a while Marietta was the teacher and Rebecca the student and they learned a few things about how teachers and students acted in those days (students had to stand beside there desk to respond to a question, repeat the question and then give the answer).
Matthew also had a lot of fun while there and I was thankful that they were able to walk around and touch things as he doesn't like much the idea of being confined and would not have lasted long otherwise.
Matthew drew a bit of attention from the photographer of the local newspaper and had his picture taken several times. The girls also managed to find themselves in front of the camera and were quite thrilled at the possibility of being in the paper. None of them made it into the paper, but you can view some pictures of them on a slideshow that appears on the papers website. Click here.
They also had a special display on about the history of the toilet. We found this interesting, although Rebecca was very lost of the whole concept of the chamber pot and I don't know now many times I had to explain it to her ... she eventually understood. We also found the history of toilet paper very interesting. I always wondered what people used to use ... probably best I just didn't know. I had known that newspaper was used, but the average family did not get a newspaper. Supposedly in America the common items used were corncobs, grass, leaves. The Romans were supposedly pretty smart as they would use a sponge on a stick (left in a pail beside the toilet). Our next stop that day (Battlefield) taught us that they would use leftover scraps of material cut into small pieces and would wash them once they ran out ... sort of like cloth diapers. All in all it was a bit interesting and left me very thankful for the nice cushy soft stuff we use now.
Checking out the different between a low-flow showerhead and regular shower head as well as a water saving toilet and the regular water-flow toilet.
An example of what thee first toilet paper was like ... this was very course material. Toilet paper used to be an item that storekeepers would keep behind the counter in a discreet not-seen place ... it just was not publically acceptable to have it sitting on the shelves. It was originally sold as individual square piece packaged in a box.
This was also a well enjoyed stopped. Marietta had already been to Battlefield for a class trip in Grade 2, which was much more involved then on Doors Open when you can only peek in the rooms and there is no actual guide, although there are people around to answer questions. Marietta has a great fascination with the pioneer days (as does her mother) so she loves anything to do with learning about how the pioneers lived.
In comparison to Dundurn Castle this place seems quite plain and doesn't seem all that "rich", but the Gage family lived in relative comfort ... although not with servants while living at this location ... either way it is definitely a different lifestyle.
Below is a picture of the parlour as well as Rebecca trying out a neat game that was played during the pioneer days. With a spinning top the object of the game is to knock down the pegs that are standing. The points you get depends on which pegs you knock down and where they are located.
After having a look around the house we moved outside to check out the monument that was erected in memory of the Battle of Stoney Creek. The monument was erected 100 years after the Battle of 1812. The girls were disppointted that they were not able to climb all the way up to the top. It looks like at one point you were able to, but for now the stairs going to the top are closed off.
Halfway through our walk around the monument Rob called to tell us Matthew was awake and it was time for us to come home so he could remain focused on his studies. It was a nice day with the kids, especially with the girls who always enjoy these outtings .. and the weather was gorgeous!!