School tours may be scheduled for up to 2 hours on Tuesday – Friday mornings, beginning at 9:15, 9:30, 9:45, or 10:00 a.m. Teachers may request 3 exhibit areas in the traditional part of the museum as well as the log house, and either the Children’s Discovery Center or the MacDonell House, our Victorian mansion which was built in 1893. If you would like to tour both the Children’s Discovery Center and the MacDonell House, then you may need to limit yourself to 2 exhibit areas in the traditional part of the museum.
The most requested areas in the traditional part of the museum are the pioneer and transportation areas, which are quite extensive. Other exhibit areas include the Mt. Vernon room, with its model of George Washington’s home, our Native American room, the general store, the fossil room, the rock and mineral room, local business exhibits, the farm room, and the Jess Sarber-John Dillinger exhibit.
We offer some tour flexibility in the Children’s Discovery Center. The four possible stations are the model railroad room, which focusses on the history of transportation and where we often offer a scavenger hunt; the general store, which offers some hands-on opportunities relating to general stores of the mid-1930s; the one-room school-house exhibit, where students learn what school was like in the 19th-century, and the Native American area, where students can try Native American games and sit inside our down-sized wigwam. Most tour groups tour three of these four areas while in the Discovery Center.
The ideal tour is for groups with 50 or fewer students, although we have done tours for as many as 100. The maximum number of groups we can accommodate is four, although the flow is better with three. In other words, if you bring 50 students, we will ask you to divide them into three smaller groups. Each group will start at a different location. Tours are led by volunteer docents.
Special Tours in the Children’s Discovery Center:
Teachers may request that we focus on the schoolhouse area only. While half of the group has a lesson inside the one-room schoolhouse exhibit, the other half writes with quill and ink. Then the groups switch.
Teachers with younger children may want their students to have a pioneer role-playing experience on the fun-house mirror side of the Discovery Center. Here they can tend to a garden, gather eggs, bake and cook in a fireplace, wash and iron clothes, carry water with a yoke, and play with reproduction toys from the era.
To book a tour or make inquiries, please contact Sarah Rish, Curator of Education, at 419-222-9426 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations to the museum are much appreciated.