Pioneer Settlement

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

Today's kids are used to coming home from school, turning on the TV, jumping on the computer, shoving an iPod in their ears and microwaving a snack. Imagine what a culture shock it must be for them to step back in time 100 years. That's the experience they're getting this week in Blountstown.

No air conditioning, no refrigeration, not even electricity. When 800 kids stepped onto the grounds of the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement Thursday, they stepped "way back" in time.

Linda Smith, Co-founder of the Panhandle Pioneer, says, "They need to know how their ancestors survived. It was survival back 100 years ago."

The pioneer settlement is celebrating Panhandle Folk Days this week. Its purpose is to teach history and folkways from 1820 to 1940. More than 20 experts showed third and fourth graders the old fashioned way of crafting, making clothing and plain old living.

Heidi Perkins, an Altha School fourth grade teacher, said, "They read about it in the history books. We talk about it in class, but getting to see it and doing it firsthand is a great experience."

Life was different back then. But how does it feel to look back on it 100 years later?"

"It helps a little bit. But I'd rather live it out than study it."

"You can make stuff and you watch people tear up wood and everything."

David White, who makes replica donkey wagons, says he enjoys being part of the history lesson.

"I love it. These third and fourth graders, how many questions they got that are good questions and actually how much they know, especially about the donkeys and the wagons."

History lessons are usually taught from a book. At the pioneer settlement you can go back in time and actually see history as it happened.

Panhandle Folk Life Days will be running at the pioneer settlement through this weekend. If you miss it you can check for future events by logging onto www.panhandlepioneersettlement.org.


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