Ghostly Stories of the Past for Peiffer at History Colorado
Peiffer students arrived at History Colorado on a sunny day in mid-winter to travel back in time. There are many events that helped shape Colorado into what it is now. What discoveries could be made inside these interactive spaces over the course of a few hours? Only time will tell. After a quick orientation two groups split off in different directions with a goal to learn about some important periods in Colorado history.
Many kids said Keota was their favorite area to visit. Can you imagine volunteering to do chores and enjoying them thoroughly? Well, that’s exactly what students did when they visited the Keota town area. Each student got a character to become, doing all of that person’s chores on an average day. To many this was a favorite activity, with fun chores like driving on dirt roads, milking cows, and going to the general store involved.
Also popular with everyone was the farmhouse at the Dust Bowl exhibit. Students experienced a short simulation of what a dust storm hitting an eastern Colorado farm would be like. It was an exciting experience, if a little scary as well. Having a chance to experience this natural disaster is a unique way to relive history and get a new perspective on past life. How would you have fared? Can you imagine trying to battle grasshoppers for your clothes?
Further back in time when miners were arriving in search of gold and silver, students entered into Sunnyside Mine to experience the hard life of working underground. The promise of possible riches brought people from far and wide, but many did not survive. Stories of tommyknockers, the ghosts of dead miners, were passed around. Were they there to help or to pull pranks? Maybe both. You had to be careful to time explosions correctly and not cause collapses. How many survived and had successful explosions that created more rich ore to be carted out?
More ghost stories followed students back even further in time to Mesa Verde. Are the spirits of those who lived in the region 800 years ago still there today? Students were fascinated with all the activities to explore as well as the diorama depicting what Mesa Verde might have looked like when people inhabited it. Some made bracelets of twine while others watered the turkeys or painted pots.
Some students also visited the town of San Luis, the oldest town in Colorado that still exists today. Everyone played a rousing game of Loteria while learning about different artifacts of life in the west. Classes who finished early even had a chance to visit Denver A-Z before heading to the next station!
The students of Peiffer will be talking for weeks about Colorado and how it became the state it is today! After hours of discovery, everyone was in a great mood and ready to head home. Thanks to the staff and volunteers at History Colorado and Peiffer Elementary. We couldn’t do this without you!