There’s a big difference between reading stories about the daily life and challenges of communities a century before us, and
pieces of those stories. Hands-on learning about history can be a difficult task – how do you show young generations today what it was like to live in the late 1800’s, let alone even a few decades ago pre-cell phones?
One way to bring the history out of the textbook and open the door to the past is to use historic artifacts and architecture together to tell a story. Poudre Landmarks Foundation does this with its living history museum, the 1879 Avery House.
Here, docents dressed in period costumes show students on school tours what their life could have been like had they been born in the late 1800s. Students can see the games young Edgar Avery played, like the Crokinal game he received for Christmas in 1890 on display in his room. They can read through his diary, to compare and contrast Edgar’s daily life to their own. They see the icebox in the kitchen with the ice delivery sign hanging in the window and begin to understand how modern day appliances were developed. They see the historic telephone and learn how calls went through the town operator, and to reach the Avery House you asked for “Sherwood 443.”
The Avery House opens the door to the past for today’s children, as they can see pieces of the past and imagine what life here would’ve been like a century ago.