ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – On Thursday, History came back to life at the Delta County Historical Society’s second annual History Day Camp.
Students in second, third, and fourth grades began their hands-on journey back in time at the Sand Point Lighthouse and the Historical Society Museum.
“They do get to do things that normally children don’t get to do in both places,” said Ellie O’Donnell, Historical Society Education Committee chairperson. “Touching things, they get to play the pump organ.”
Then, campers enjoyed a period-accurate meal.
“They have homemade bread and vegetables from the garden and so on,” O’Donnell said.
The lunch even featured some ingredients they made themselves.
“I’m shaking cream to make butter so it tastes better,” said camper Victoria. “I like learning about history because I like learning about the past and how they did things.”
It was all packed inside real miner’s lunch boxes, some of which were 100 years old.
After lunch, it was time to get to work.
“They have to haul water and fill the copper boilers with the water,” O’Donnell explained. “They have to wash their napkins, put them through the wringer, rinse them, and then hang them on a clothesline.”
Campers also learned to stack wood and how to beat the dirt out of a rug. O’Donnell says those tasks are usually the most challenging.
“They’re all jobs that children would’ve done at the turn of the century,” she said.
At the end of the day, each camper received a family pass to the lighthouse and museum so they can bring their loved ones back to teach them about the history of Escanaba.
O’Donnell says the History Day Camp is a fun opportunity to help kids get interested in their community’s past.
“We learn from history of course, and the history of the human spirit,” she said. We’re just giving them a way to learn history and what it was, to compare their life to what it was in the turn of the century.”
O’Donnell says the Historical Society Education Committee plans to host the History Day Camp again next year. To learn more about the Delta County Historical Society, click here.