NEW HAVEN — Coal mining, crossing the early frontier, and making butter and maple syrup were among the lessons learned by students at New Haven Elementary School recently on “Heritage Day.”
The children were taught about occupations, as well as how life was lived in the “old days.”
Doug Wood of Hurricane portrayed Gabriel Arthur, believed to have been the first European American to see the Kanawha Valley. He was captured and ended up traveling with a band of Indians in 1674.
Wood is a part of the West Virginia Humanities Council “History Alive!” program. He told the students stories of crossing the frontier and trading furs, before being captured.
Coal mining was another topic of presentations at the event. Jerry Morgan shared about the early coal miners’ jobs, while the history of coal mining was given by Todd Hanson. Hanson is the author of “Campbell’s Creek: A Portrait of a Coal Mining Community.”
Making maple syrup was demonstrated by Greg Brannon. He told about tapping his 273 trees, and how the sap is processed into the syrup. With no added sugars or flavors, Brannon said it takes about 70 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.
The children also had the opportunity to participate in several activities. They made butter with Michelle Hart, who presented on dairy farms and cow milking, and crocheted with ladies from the West Virginia State Farm Museum. The students took part in square dancing with Kathy Roberts, and played traditional schoolhouse games with Sheila Roush.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.