Children can get their hands on history

NEIGHBORS

October 26, 1994|By PAT BRODOWSKI

What was Maryland like 200 years ago? Children in particular can discover the cultural history of Maryland by experiencing how life was lived in the 1700s to 1800s during a tour of Rose Hill Manor Museum. That's what the second grade from Spring Garden Elementary School did recently.

Rose Hill Manor is a touch-and-see museum within the spacious 200-year-old Frederick manor home of Maryland's first governor, Thomas Johnson. The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In addition to the manor, there's a Scandinavian-style log cabin built 180 years ago, a blacksmith shop, carriage museum, ice house and gardens to explore.

Touch-and-see means children could squeeze a straw-stuffed mattress and imagine sleeping on it in the loft of the tiny log cabin.

It means they could sit down to a game of corn-cob checkers, try out cast-iron penny banks, or dress in colonial bonnets in the manor house toy room.

"This is a park," said tour guide Sheila Chatlos. "But instead of sliding boards, swimming pool, or baseball field, we have a museum."

Mrs. Chatlos, in colonial dress, was like a perfect grandmother to her group of inquisitive 7- and 8-year-olds from Nancy Keffer's class. Her tour was one of discovery.

At the blacksmith shop, Mrs. Chatlos showed a large steel triangle.

"Every farm had one," she said. "What was it for?"

"Dinner!" exclaimed student David Campbell.

The carriage museum was a treasure hunt. Circling a row of winter sleighs reminiscent of Santa Claus were horse-drawn carriages large, small, of wicker and wood.

"Where is the cart a pony would pull?" she asked. "Can you find the foot-warmers?"

The foot-warmer, with drawer for charcoal, was a fascinating contrast to the comforts of the automobile.

"What would go in the tall basket?" behind a high four-wheeled carriage, asked Mrs. Chatlos. Adam Brodowski, fond of walking sticks, imagined correctly that it was to hold canes.

In the manor house, one room was devoted to textiles. How does sheep wool become a blanket? The guide passed out "cards," the densely toothed brushes used to align wool fiber. The children carded their wool, saw it spun to yarn, and then gathered around the massive wooden log loom to see Mrs. Chatlos weave thread and fabric scraps into a rag rug.

The kitchen, with fireplace ablaze, held appliances with handles to crank.

"Look around and think of your kitchen at home," began Mrs. Chatlos. "What do you have that I don't have in this kitchen?" Gathered around the open hearth, the children began to list refrigerator, microwave, freezer, cupboards.

She showed them how to bake a pie inside a cast-iron kettle covered with hot ash. She quizzed them about how a reflector-oven rotisserie might work. She showed them a sugar loaf -- a tall brown cone of sugar -- and mentioned that women would save the blue paper wrapper for dye.

The kitchen held one of the most memorable moments for the children. Mrs. Chatlos expertly popped popcorn over the flames to share with her group.

Back in the classroom, the second-graders wrote and illustrated what they'd enjoyed most about Rose Hill and the lifestyle of long ago.

"How to pop popcorn, and having a table that turned into a bench," wrote Amy Wineke.

"The kids sleep in the attic. How to make candles. The foot-warmers," wrote several other students.

Rose Hill Manor is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through October. Visits in November are weekends only.

Reach the museum from Route 26 west to Route 355 south, turning right immediately after the Coca-Cola building. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for senior citizens, and $1 for children 2 through 17.

Information: (301) 694-1648.

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Calling all superheroes, princesses, ninjas, robots and the like: The annual Lions Club Halloween Party invites you to North Carroll High School auditorium Friday at 7 p.m.

This invitation is for children in third grade and younger who live in the Hampstead community, with their parents. Children are invited to come in costume, although children without costumes are welcome, too.

The party is a show with treats.

Entertainment on stage will be geared for young children, including magic by Roger Lindsay and a theatrical storytelling, "A Halloween Recipe," by Kathleen the Great.

According to party organizer, the Rev. John Smaligo, you can expect Kathleen the Great to be dressed "in a real wild glitter outfit" and to tell her story with plenty of surprises.

Many prizes will be given, raffle-style. Any child can win a prize, regardless of costume. Treats will be given to all children.

The Community Halloween Party is sponsored by the Hampstead Lions Club and is free.

Information: Mr. Smaligo, 374-2819.

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The Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company will hold its open house from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It's held every year in October as part of national Fire Prevention Month.

The Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company is at 1341 N. Main St., Hampstead, between traffic lights at Gill Avenue and Route 482.

Information: 374-2424.

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