Marly Mattson uses a yoke to carry buckets of water from the stream to the wash tub during the Children’s Living History Workshop at the Iron County Museum. This first step, during the June 24-26 program, helped participants understand what it was like to do laundry 100 years ago. See what else the youths experienced on page 2 of this week’s Reporter.
CASPIAN—During the Children’s Living History Workshop on June 24-26, children of various ages experienced life like it was 100 years ago.
Maggie Scheffer played the lead role in guiding the children in the adventurous three days.
On the first day, the children began their day with laundry duties. They carried buckets of water from the “stream,” which was a hose, using old-fashioned yokes. During that time, one child noticed holes in one of the buckets. The group sang “There’s a Hole in the Bucket” to figure out a method of patching the holes. Once the water was poured into the washtubs, the children scrubbed linens on a washboard with hand-made soap, put them through the wringer, rinsed and hung them up to dry.
Once laundry duties were done, it was time for the children to move into their cabin and grind wheat and rye into flour for the homemade bread they would be making. The bread would take two days to make, so they focused on the grinding and mixing on Monday.
After their hard work, Scheffer introduced the children to a little fun. She explained that the children 100 years ago did not have the option to go purchase toys, and most of them were handmade. She said that children, even then, didn’t work all day.
“All work and no play makes for a dull day,” she said.
A favorite then was marble play. Each child was given a ball of clay that they had to form into ten marbles and a shooter. Once formed, they were placed on the top shelf of a cook stove to dry out. They would learn popular marble games on Tuesday once the marbles were dry.
After the marbles, the children started their apple-head dolls, which would also take two days to create.
In between each task, Scheffer explained the different aspects of the cabin. The sink was known as a dry sink because of its lack of plumbing. The wood stove was used for baking, cooking, melting candle wax and heating irons for linens.
Other activities the children participated in during the three day workshop were: ironing linens, making dip candles and more. Scheffer explained that the workshop consisted of work, creating things and play.