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An educational time warp to 1908

Under the natural light from the windows, Grade 3 students of St. Joseph’s Catholic School learned to use old-fashioned slates instead of notebooks and computers, just like their great-great-grandparents did in 1908.

Dressed in costumes of the Edwardian period, Mrs. Sweitzer’s students were transported back in time to mark Pioneer Days at the school on May 9.

Led by Melisa Barnard who portrayed teacher Miss Welstead, they quickly got a feel for early 20th-century education, including a hygiene check and posture inspection, a rendition of God Save the King and the Lord’s Prayer.

The students had been learning about the early settlement of the area, and Barnard turned it into a living history lesson with the students immersing themselves in the period.

Barnard is from the Jordan Historical Museum School House which normally hosts a field trip for the students but is currently under repair.

The original schoolhouse in Jordan burned down and a replacement was built in 1859. It became a centre of community activity and remained in use for 89 years. The schoolhouse was restored in 1997 to reflect the state of the building in 1908. School board minutes were used to ensure accuracy.

The museum is normally available for school field trips and is open for the public during the summer months.


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