On Thursday, May 11th the Erie Historical hosted 310 8th graders from Erie Middle for History Day at Wise Homestead to learn more about Homestead Act, Westward Expansion, and life on an 1880s Homestead. After a presentation at Erie Middle by Alan and Erin Wise, the students boarded buses to go to the Wise Homestead. Upon arrival at the homestead, the students broke into 17 different groups. The day was set up like a History “Speed Dating” outing. The students visited 17 different history stations for about 12 minutes.

History Stations:

    • #1 Farm House Tour Exterior – Information on the Wise Farmhouse.
    • #2 Farm House Tour Interior – Information on the interior of the Farmhouse
    • #3  Washing Clothes – Students washed socks with washboard and wash tubs
    • #4 School – Learned about what school was like in the late 1800s
    • #5 Barn Tour – Learned about Granary Barn and 1800s tools
    • #6 Farm Equipment – Old farm equipment and how they were used
    • #7 Play – It wasn’t all work. Period games like sack races
    • #8 Plowing Demonstration – Live demonstration of work horses plowing field
    • #9 Going West “On the Trail” – Life on the trail. What homesteaders would have experienced on their way west.
    • #10 Going West “Setting up Camp” – An example of a campsite while on your way west
    • #11 Reflection – 12 minutes to reflect on the journey and the life on a homestead
    • #12 Hygiene – pretty is as pretty does – Common hygiene objects and how they compared to modern day uses.
    • #13 Soap Making – Making soap
    • #14 Butter Making – Making butter – shake shake shake!
    • #15 Blacksmith/Photo Booth – Impromptu info on blacksmithing and photo ops
    • #16 Herbal Remedies – Foraging Foods – Foraging for local plants and how plants were used on a homestead.
    • #17 Coal Mining – Life and experiences of a coal miner

It was a great day. The weather was absolutely beautiful after threatening to rain. The students had a great time.

Thank you!

The day would not have been possible without the help of Erie Historical Society members, Volunteers, Teachers and the amazing 8th graders. Thank you all.

Plus, thank you to our local businesses that assisted with the event.  Creststone Peak Resources thank you for making the event possible.  Chick-fil-A thank you for the wonderful lunch for our volunteers and teachers. Daily Camera thank you for your support and the balloons.


Here is a glimpse at our History Day at Wise Homestead