June 24, 2004

Fort Snelling

Today we had a nice field trip. We headed over to the Historic Site at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis/St Paul. It was a fun trip and enjoyable for all. It was actually one I think I found more interesting than the kids. Well the kids really enjoyed it in the beginning but then I think it got more repetitive and boring for them. They were a bit young to fully understand everything - still they did have fun and enjoy learning about things.

We sat in a schoolroom with girls on one side and boys on the other and listened to someone dressed in full costume talk about life in 1827 and the fort. It was very interesting - the kids got to touch furs that would have been traded and see implements they would have traded for such a kettles, axes, and cloth. They talked about settlers and relations with Native Americans, they learned why they used barrels instead of boxes for shipping and how the rivers were the roads of the time.

Then we had open time to tour the fort and visit all the areas. We looked at the old barracks and learned that two people used to sleep in one barrack head to foot - to help save space and create warmth in the winter. The kids could not believe their bathrooms were porta potties in the same room.

We toured the captains house, the shops, watched them wash laundry and fire off muskets. We walked quickly through the exhibit halls and tried to focus on the actual real life examples. We watched a blacksmith working and visited the guard house. The kids put on the signs and ball and chains and went into the prison cells. I was surprised by them - they were an all stone room with just a floor and when the door was shut it was pitch black as there were no windows or light in there. I can not imagine what that must have been like.

People were dressed in clothing of the time and tried to use the language of the day as well. We learned a lot and had a good time doing it. I will definitely return there. We had a perfect day as well, it was high 60's with a breeze - almost chilly actually. Hard to believe it is June here in Minnesota.


No comments:

Post a Comment