Students take a walk into the past
Jeremy Ranch second-grade students stepped into Park City’s past Tuesday, checking out the old public transportation a stagecoach, relics from what many did for work the mines; seeing where people went when things went bad the old jail, and where people went when things went really bad the Glenwood Cemetery.
On the last days of the school year, students from Jeremy Ranch Elementary School took a field trip to the Park City Historical Society and Museum on Main Street as a part of the museums educational Outreach program.
There, Johanna Fassbender, the non-profit museum’s curator of education, took students on a tour rich with donated Park City items, photos, a mining car and machinery, a film clip of Park City history, a stagecoach from the 1870’s, and the coolest thing of all to students, the origonal jail from 1886, where nar-do-wells came and went.
"The museum is so much more fun than just reading a book," Fassbender said. "This is reality. It makes history much more tangible."
Barb Hansen, a second-grade teacher at Jeremy Ranch, who accompanied her class of 23, said students had been studying Park City History in the classroom before the field trip. "They are fascinated with the mines, she said. "They also have seen how the people here were just trying to survive." Hansen said she was lucky to have been able to visit the Ontario Mine when it was open for tours. "You wouldn’t want to go there if you are claustrophobic," she said. It was cold, it was wet, and seemed to have tunnels leading every direction, she said.
But what seemed to stimulate the imaginations of the kids more than anything else, was the original jail in the basement, which had tiny cells with grid-like iron bars. And it was dark.
Jessica Clark said she would not have liked to be in that jail. "It is really dark." She didn’t think she would have cared for the food they likely served to prisoners. She thought that some of the prisoners were thrown in jail for being drunk.
"This is great said Park City resident Mike Baker," who came with his daughter Ali’s class. "The history they are seeing is excellent. It shows kids how tough it was to live back then. This is my third time on the tour, and I have learned something new every time."
Students explored a replica of a mine shaft, tried out the comfort of a stage coach, and saw a film of Park City history. Following the museum tour, they had a chance to take a walk on Main Street viewing old buildings, then they got back on the bus to then tour the Glenwood Cemetery.
Hansen said the students would see how people of all ages died, and how reaching old-age was a rarity.
The Park City Historical Society and Museum is open to the public located at 528 Main Street. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sundays 12-6 p.m. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.
Volunteer positions are available. Call 649 7457 for more information, or visit http://www.parkcityhistory.org
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