If you missed Part 1 in our Pioneer Series, you can find it here.
After learning about wagon trains and American frontier life, I wanted to find a way for the boys to experience it. Last week, I got up one day to find cloudy and cool weather (rare for Texas in August!), and I decided to seize the day and go on a field trip!
We went to Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth, Texas. If you are in this area, I highly recommend it!
Log Cabin Village has a collection of historic buildings, including this grist mill with a working water wheel. We were able to go inside an 1850’s school and ring the school bell, and we watched a blacksmith at work.
The highlight for the boys was the hand-on children’s cabin. They were impressed with the working water pump.
Gresham and Owen spent a lot of time digging in the garden. They had wooden play vegetables in raised bed garden boxes, and the boys had fun lining up all the carrots in the dirt so that their tops stuck out.
Owen gathered eggs from the “chickens.” Aidan used a mortar and pestle to grind corn and wheat into flour. We could see why the grist mill was such an important invention!
At each cabin, staff members were available to provide information about the building and it’s history. We learned quite a bit! We watched a man use a lathe to demonstrate how turned wood table legs were made. We also learned about the oldest cabin in Tarrant County. It was owned by Isaac and Lucy Parker. Isaac Parker was the uncle of Cynthia Ann Parker who was kidnapped by Comanche Indians as a nine year old girl and lived with them through adulthood. She married Chief Peta Nocona and had two sons and a daughter. It’s a really interesting story – you can find more of the story here.
While we were at Log Cabin Village, we bought a CD called “Log Cabin Songs.” This CD is a great collection of 1800’s folk songs performed on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and bass. It’s toe-tapping music and really fun for setting the mood while you work on pioneer projects! The boys have really enjoyed the tunes, especially the last one – “The Hound Dog Song.”
After our visit to Log Cabin Village, we made some simple books, and the boys wrote about what they have learned about the pioneer days in Texas.
The boys just wrote about facts, but I also think it would be a fun project to create journal entries about the daily life of a pioneer.
We had a lot of fun learning about pioneer life – I think I enjoyed it as much as the boys did! I was all in the mood to cook on a wood-burning stove and make some pies from scratch. Well, until our air conditioning went out on Saturday morning, that is! It’s nice to appreciate history, and it’s nice to live in the 21st century!