A few weeks ago, I accompanied my daughter and her third-grade class on a field trip to The 1820 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House. Having recently visited Conner Prairie, an interactive 1800s historical park, it was nice to view a similar piece of the nineteenth century, one located in our own backyard.
Upon arrival, no time was wasted (which I like) as our group was led into the orientation room by a female docent dressed in period clothing. Here we viewed a video explaining the history of the Stephenson family in Illinois, highlighting their time in Edwardsville and this Stephenson House.
Once the video was complete, we were ushered outside where a male docent (again, in period dress) with quite a sense of humor explained the architecture of the house both inside and out.
From there, our group entered a separate building which housed the kitchen. Educating us on the particulars of canning and food preservation, students were given the opportunity to string beans for drying above the fireplace and tamp down the cabbage for the purpose of making sauerkraut.
Our final station consisted of learning how water was transported by the use of a shoulder yoke and how those living in the 1800s cleaned their clothing. Again, this interactive tour allowed students to try on a shoulder yoke as well as stir the laundry in the boiling pot and attempt to remove stains by the use of a washboard.
Disappointed our tour had come to an end, I look forward to revisiting the Benjamin Stephenson House while my daughter looks forward to Mrs. Lucy’s Academy for Young Ladies, a summer camp offered at The 1820 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House.