Thanks to the hard work of Linda Secondini and the many volunteers who helped out, this year’s third grade school program was once again a great success. Third graders from Central, Colonial Park, Robin Hood, South, and St. Patrick’s School were treated to a glimpse of Stoneham’s past.
In the main room of our museum, they learned about the meaning and history of the artifacts on display there. The children had a chance to see Indian arrowheads, spectacles belonging to Thomas Young (participant in the Boston Tea Party), uniforms worn by men of Stoneham who served in the Civil War and Spanish-American War, examples of the children’s and women’s shoes that once made Stoneham famous, and even Nancy Kerrigan’s ice-skates. They were able to examine, at close hand, a spinning wheel and looms to see how weaving is done, and learned about the “Shawmut” automobile, and its’ race to Seattle against the Ford #2
In the Toy Room the children were introduced to the kinds of toys children of the past treasured. Dolls, clay marbles, pick-up sticks, and building toys, many of which looked quite familiar, others more strange. Here they also saw a display of flags featuring the addition of stars as our country expanded and added more states, and had fun looking through an old-time stereoscope, which was something like a viewmaster.
Down the stairs the children went to find themselves in Grandma’s Kitchen, an exhibit featuring artifacts one would find in a typical kitchen of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. From the “toaster” you swing with your toes as it sits by the open fire, to butter churns and a “wooden sink”, the children learned that women of the past went about their work quite differently than we do today.
A big round of applause goes to our wonderful tour guides who volunteered their time and knowledge to help educate the children of Stoneham. They are Gail Melkonian, Mary Marchant, Donna Weiss, Marcia Wengen, Mary Binda, Betty Whelan, Marian Towse, Jane Trenholm, Maureen Welch, Marina Memmo, Victoria Byerly, and Pam Macura. Special thanks to all the third grade teachers and parent chaperones who participated with such enthusiasm, and to Bee Russo and Dick Watts for all they have done for this program.
Visit our Student Art Gallery for a look at some of the wonderful art work and letters we have received from the students who participated in the program