Vernon Historical Society completes education program

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  • Photos courtesy Jessi Paladini At Hands-On History camp, photographer and author Arlene Springer treats the children to her photographs and displays of praying mantises and teaches the children about “good farm bugs” that protect crops.

  • The children in the Hands-On History program spent a morning at the historic one-room schoolhouse at Prices Switch Road, learning what school was like at the turn of the 19th century.

The Vernon Township Historical Society recently completed its third annual its Hands-On History camp.

The program drew about 30 children who learned about 19th century life in Vernon Township. The theme of the program this year was farming.

Children learned how to prepare soil, plant crops, and use their harvest for many things, from making dried apples to perfumed sachets and framed pressed flowers. They learned tinsmithing and made their own lanterns to take home. They also made butter with a churn, cleaned clothes on a washboard, made soap, did cross stich samplers, made corn husk dolls and other toys and jigsaw puzzles. The children also spent a morning at the historic one-room schoolhouse at Price’s Switch Road where they learned penmanship and saw what school was like 100 years ago.

At the society’s museum, they saw the mastodon display and the “Farming in Vernon” display that featured antique farm tools from local farms.

Retired elementary teacher and society trustee Nancy Adam was Hands-On History director this year and brought an all-new program to the children, with the help of about a dozen society members and trustees.

The Hands-On History program can be seen at the Historical Society’s website at

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