Thursday, May 3, 2018

Visit to Portland Head Light Museum

As part of our local history studies, we visited the Portland Head Light museum.  The class took a tour that included models showing how the lighthouse changed since its construction in 1791.  They also viewed photographs and exhibits about navigation into Portland Harbor and the history of Fort Williams and shipwrecks in the area.   Here's what the children wanted to report about their trip:
  • We learned about how many times the lighthouse changed over time.
  • Overall, I think the trip was a very good trip and we learned a ton about the lighthouse.
  • George Washington said we needed this lighthouse.
  • The binnacle was used on a ship to see which way they were going. It has a floating compass inside.  It has a metal covering to protect it from rain, snow and ice. 
  • The lighthouse keepers had to go outside the lighthouse and scrape the windows.  They had to hold onto a rope to keep from falling.
  • I liked how the lighthouse keeper had to pull the cord to ring the bell for hours when it was foggy. 
  • Later, they updated the bell so they would wind it up and it would ring on its own for a few hours.
  • I liked the different models of the lighthouse showing how it changed over time.  
  • I liked how we learned that the lighthouse keeper had a lot to do.  
  • The lighthouse keeper had to light the wicks on the spider lamp and be sure they kept lit. 
  • I liked the tiny cannon (Lyle gun) that shot rope to a sinking ship to rescue people. 
  • It was interesting how they built three different lighthouses, which were small.   But after a few years they (the lighthouses) failed because ships couldn't tell the difference between the lighthouses and homes along the coast.  They then built the lighthouse taller again.
  • The lighthouse keeper had to use a rope to get from his little house to the lighthouse, because he could get washed away during a storm.  Then they built connecting house between the home and the lighthouse. 

These are some of the exhibits kids asked me to photograph, so they could write and sketch about them back in the classroom...

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Visit to the Victoria Mansion

The class visited the Victoria Mansion in Portland.  This is one of four field trips in our local history unit designed to give kids a broad sense of why and how this area was populated and how life has changed over time.  

Here are some thoughts the kids wanted to share about the trip...
  • In old times (clothes) washers were just a box with wooden balls. In modern times we use electric clothes washers.
  • The Victoria mansion was going to be a gas station (torn down), but people bought it and turned it into a museum.
  • They had bells in each room. If you were lazy, you could ring the bell and they would bring you tea.
  • It was a successful trip.  It was greatly amazing.  It was like a hotel.  I like how the rooms were fancy and how the washer worked.  p.s.  The rooms looked haunted.
  • Cool parts and facts: Stained glass windows, a private library, the dining room.
  • The light dropped down in the smoking room so the men could play cards at night.
  • This was one of the only houses with a toilet. 
  • It gave us experiences about olden days and examples like the washer.
  • Each room had a theme and a purpose.
  • In the sitting room, the chair's and couches' feet were animal feet.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Morse's niece died at age 2 because she got sick and there were no medicines to cure her.
  • In the painting of the niece there were signs that showed if the person was alive or gone.  She was floating off the floor, she had a bouquet of flowers, and there were dead leaves behind her.
  • Our class traveled back in time!