While I was taking a shift at the Westport Schoolhouse yesterday in Kenue Park, two families with young children came in.
"OK, you be the teacher," the kids said to their dad.
"Good morning class," the dad started. "Today is Tuesday, Aug. 15. We're going to learn how many days each month has."
And class had started.
The father taught his children the knuckle method of counting --- January has 31 days, so it starts on a knuckle; February has 28 days and is counted on the sunken part before the next knuckle which represents March at 31 days. Continue on, and you'll know which months have 31 days and which don't.
After the lessons, some of the children headed outside to the small apple tree located right next to the schoolhouse. The green apples are starting to turn red, and although deer have snacked on a few, many of them are perfect for a quick snack.
Or to polish and bring to your teacher.
Some kids might not be looking forward to heading back to school in the next few weeks, but there are plenty of little ones out there who are just aching for their turn to learn.
Bring them out the to the Westport Schoolhouse to experience some pretend time in the classroom. They will get to sit in a real desk, write on a slate, try out the chalkboard, read from a primer, ring the school bell to start class and create a bookmark to take home.
Come by 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and let your child's imagination run wild!
The first school in Dickinson County was an in-home private school that began around 1860, with a teacher employed to teach the children of Dr. J.S. Prescott and a few other local youth. The following years saw more private schools that soon expanded into small public education institutions throughout the county. Westport Schoolhouse history Westport Read More »Read More
Following her rescue after nearly four months in captivity with Inkpaduta’s band of Native Americans, Abbie learned that her sister Eliza had survived the Springfield attack and had married William Wilson, who had lived with the Gardners in Okoboji for a time, and moved to Hampton, IA. On July 5, they were reunited. Soon after, Read More »Read More
Abbie Gardner was held captive by Inkpaduta’s band after about four months in captivity. Three Native Americans paid for her and took her back to Minnesota. They were paid $1,000 for her rescue. Mazaintemani Mazaintemani, or Man Who Shoots Metal as He Walks, was noted by Abbie Gardner Sharp to be John Other Day. However, Read More »Read More
As word of the violence in Spirit Lake and Springfield spread, plans to rescue the captive women began to take shape within the Minnesota government with Sioux Indian Agent Charles Flandrau. Meanwhile though, Abbie Gardner and the other captives focused on how to stay alive in a culture they did not know and were fearful Read More »Read More
Before the Spirit Lake Massacre A man named Henry Lott, cited as an “unscrupulous character” by an article in 1886 in the Sibley Gazette, had an encounter with Sintominaduta, Inkpaduta’s brother, and blamed the Wahpekuti tribe for burning his cabin and killing his family, although that didn’t actually occur. Settlers went to the ransacked cabin Read More »Read More
There is much that is known and yet unknown about Inkpaduta, his rise to leadership and his life following what is now known as the Spirit Lake Massacre. Inkpaduta was born in 1805 — also listed as 1797 in some sources — near Cannon River in southern Minnesota to a family in the smallest of Read More »Read More
Rowland Gardner married Frances Smith in 1836 and had four children — Mary, Eliza, Abigail and Rowland. However, he wasn’t satisfied in New York and wanted to join the westward bound in pursuit of a new and better life. So in 1853, 10 years after Abigail, better known as Abbie, was born, the family Read More »Read More