Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Yosemite: Day Three - Living History Begins


Leaving the valley and driving up through the snow

John Washburn, Jessie Benton Fremont, and Thomas Ayers



So, our prep for this began last October, when Charles and Anthony attended the teacher training weekend.  I wanted to go too, but can't be away from the girls overnight.  The girls and I camped nearby.  Since January, we have been prepping; reading biographies of the era, visiting other historic sites, and more.

The design is different and yet similar to our Fort Ross experience; that had the advantage of having a purpose - we were running the fort there.  Here, the pioneer village is a group of buildings that never were actually together in an actual time, but now are grouped together because they bear the common legacy of being "historic."

We were in four groups and the kids rotated, which meant more opportunity to try different things, less opportunity to do in-depth projects.  The stations were transportation (horses and carriages), blacksmithing, cooking, and "the meadow," which was a guided exploration of the different possible uses of a national park, from various historic perspectives.

It rained a bit during the day, but not much.  All of the kids were in costume and character.  The food was great, each station went well, and we ended the day with a barn dance at which many of the kids took turns calling square dance steps.  Glorious fun!

Around the campfire, near where the cook and wood chopping stations were set up.

At "the meadow;" the station for contemplating resources, which has ongoing value in the dialogue about how our Parks should be used.

Thomas Ayers, who published the first drawings of Yosemite Valley
(I would have had more photos, but Jenny Foster ("Mother") Curry had other tasks... and the camera phone hadn't been invented yet, so I couldn't use it.)

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