Hands-on-History brings the past to life
Annette Hayden Havre Daily News email@example.com
The third annual Hands-on- History enticed families to visit life as it was in the 1800s and thrilled children Saturday at Holiday Village Shopping Center. “It was awesome,” said Jason Apodaca, 9, who enjoyed the oldtime school replica as his favorite activity. “I’ve always wanted to do old-fashioned writing (with ink and quill). When we got here, I looked on the (event) board and they had it! “You even get to keep the quill,” Apodaca said. “It’s pretty easy, too.” When asked if he would prefer using a quill regularly, he answered with a definite, “Yes, this would be great at school.” According to old-time-school volunteer Sam Gregori, more than 80 kids had visited the booth in the first four hours of the sixhour long event. “I actually volunteered to man the booth for extra credit in one of my college classes,” said Gregori. “It’s been a lot of fun. I would do it again without the credit. The kids have been amazed at seeing how school was back then, and I think it has helped them appreciate what they have today.” Among the other 40-some activities and demonstrations offered by the H. Earl Clack Museum Board for Hands-on- History day, kids churned butter, Havre Police said numerous local banking institutions were receiving calls from local business people regarding receipt of American Gift checks over the Internet. Police advise these checks are fraudulent and the companies sending them are bogus. Police warn of scam Critics say Democrats’ state budget $7.9 billion is too big made bubble-paper-art with colored dishwater, played with chicks, constructed cornhusk dolls and pinecone bird feeders, talked on a barbed-wire telephone, danced with colorfully-clad Native American dancers, shot a Civil War-era canon and more. “We come every year,” said Cindy Turner, mother of 3-year-old Bailey, who was cuddling and kissing a little chick. “The best part is the interaction with everything. All of the kids learn so much,” she said. The farmyard booth was provided and manned by Cari Goebel-Frahm of Laredo who raises and sells chickens, ducks and guineas. Guineas, which lay small eggs, are about as tall as a chicken and known for chasing off snakes and clearing their habitat of ticks and other bugs. Museum Board member Anna Brumley said more than 300 kids attended Hands-on-History 2007, but funds, which help support the museum and Buffalo Jump, were down some from last year. “We did not make as much as last year,” she said. “We cleared about $2,500, and last year we made about $3,000. But there was a lot going on Saturday with tournaments and a high school music festival. We knew there was a music festival, but we expected parents would bring their kids when the students weren’t singing, so we’re not sure if that impacted the outcome.” Individual booths experienced a variety of total participation. According to Brumley, the Chicken House was the highest draw with 231 tickets. The Big Dig, where kids looked at skeletal diagrams then hunted for similar buffalo bones and arrowheads, drew 115 kids. The booth where kids made bath salts brought in 123 tickets, bubble paper art brought 128, candle dipping in its first year brought 110 tickets, and ice cream in a bag brought 125. “The leather tooling was a big hit, too,” Brumley said. “They gave kids a lesson on what they are doing and told about the different kinds of leather. They had kids practice on old leather then used good leather to make key chains. Between 80 to 90 volunteers, including 30-35 college students assisted with booths at the event. “The black powder group people said they had a ball,” Brumley added. “The volunteers are what make this event. When you go to that extent to teach the children it is awesome.” Ryan Juers of Havre, a private black-powder enthusiast, brought the early 1870s canon and an 1861 Springfield musket for kids to shoot. John Gilbert and Casey Arensmeyer assisted Juers with the Civil War-era display set up on the southeast side of the mall parking lot. At least 60 kids shot both historic weapons throughout the day, Juers guessed. “It’s just a hobby that I like to share,” Juers said. “I was here last year, but we didn’t get the attention like this year. This is a better location. I also do private entertainment with the black powder and canon and we come in Civil War costume and I tell about Civil War history and the history of the gun and cannon.” “The Native American dancers were beautiful and they invited children on stage to dance with them,” Brumley said. “We were disappointed there was no square dancing though. We have tried to get it here. One of our board members, Mike Spencer, is going to approach some sixth-graders to see if they would be willing to learn square dancing and come demonstrate next year. “The point is to get children involved. To show them then get kids out of the crowd to participate. We really need some square dances so if anyone in the community is interested we hope they’ll call us.” Brumley said all ideas and volunteer participation for the fourth annual Hands-on-History in 2008 would be welcome and appreciated. “People like to do and see new,” she said. “We learn new stuff every year by putting on the event. It’s labor intensive. It gets crazy during set up, seeing if and how the exhibits work, but we (committee members and volunteers) just have a ball.” For more information, call the H. Earl Clack Museum at 265-4000 or call Anna Brumley at 265-6417.