The Caroline County Historical Society hosted several county third-graders at the Linchester Mill campus in May, for its third annual Student Discovery Days.
More than 200 third-graders from Denton, Ridgely and Preston elementary schools attended the event. A second date, for Federalsburg and Greensboro elementary school third-graders, had to be cancelled due to inclement weather.
Student Discovery Days brings the students to the historic mill site, where they learn about Caroline County history and ecology.
The students were split into five groups, and rotated through five different learning stations.
The first station was at the Hog Island School, a one-room schoolhouse that has been restored to what it looked like it was built in 1879 in the Frazier Neck area.
The school’s interior has been completed since the last students visited, using “ghosts,” or outlines on the floor left by furniture, to figure out where a stove, sink and teacher’s platform would have gone.
Robin Westre talked about what it was like, going to school in a one-room building, based on the memoir of a Dutch person who once attended the Hog Island School. Students learned about the curriculum and games at such a school.
Ellery Adams, Jack Stief and Michael McCrea led students through Linchester Mill, relating the mill’s history and showing the students how the machinery worked.
At the first of three nature area stations, Matt Kaczynski of the Caroline County Department of Planning and Codes and Diana Lapsley of the Caroline County Economic Development Corporation talked about the ecology of Hunting Creek, which passes near the mill, and helped students plant trees in the wetlands buffer zone.
In the second nature area station, Kathy Mackel and Christina Lippincott of the Caroline Office of Tourism talked about the mill site’s connection to Harriet Tubman and the operation of the Underground Railroad in the county.
At the final station, Chief Winterhawk, of the Nause Waiwash Band of Indians, talked about how Native Americans adapted to the environment, and talked about Native American culture and beliefs. Chief Winterhawk showed the students artifacts.
After students had rotated through the learning stations, they had a picnic lunch behind the mill, while Vanessa Pinder, a Tubman re-enactor, put on a presentation involving the students.
The day ended with student presentations. A representative for each class talked about a “great person” the class had chosen. Some chose historical figures, while others talked about teachers or staff in their own schools.
Finally, each class was asked to shout out a motto the students had chosen.
The Caroline County Historical Society thanked all the volunteers who presented to the students, and thanked the following sponsors, who helped cover transportation fees to get the students to and from the site: Provident State Bank, Towers Concrete, Tri-Gas & Oil, Inc., L.W. Taylor’s Garage in Greensboro, Ms. M.E. Black, Mr. Theodore Black, Mr. Ernie Blazejak, Evans Title, LLC, www.catersupplydirect.com and Huber Insurance Agency.