---We started planning this in January, and are just now getting started. Here's what we've done so far. First we brought a bunch of photos over from city hall [that were displayed there] and used them to get the students talking and thinking. Even my little ones are excited! One of my second graders echoed my own sentiments when he said he wished he was living back in those days.
---Jack Southworth also came in and shared his slide show and commentary with all the students. This was a two hour session, and the interest level was up high enough that they didn't get tired of it and could even have gone on longer!
Next, the upper grades will be writing letters to solicit information and conducting research. The lower grades will make posters for Seneca, Burns, and John Day, asking for people to contact us.
All of us are using [the Green Gold] website to spark interest and for research.
After spring break, we'll begin a series of whole-school field trips to build background and develop a sense of space. Field trips will include: visits to the Train Barn in John Day (to give us an idea of the models we plan to create) and the Grant County Museum; visits to the museum and mill site in Burns, with a stop at the site of the Poison Creek tunnel and a hike on the railroad grade; a visit to Camp One; and walking trips around Seneca to see where everything once was.
|In this 1930s photo of Seneca, the school is seen at left. The road in the foreground running past the school is now U.S. Highway 395. This photo was taken by Rufus Heck who was a very active photographer of the time; his office was in Burns. Heck's original photograph has been 'cropped,' eliminating quite a lot of the very interesting cloud activity above the town.
---Also, after spring break, we'll begin in-school visits with people who once worked for Hines Lumber Co. All students will prepare questions to ask, and the older students will take notes to later write up the interviews. We'll start with our local folks, then extend invitations to people in John Day and Burns.
---We also have a very ambitious map project to start. The older students will build a tabletop-sized physical map of Seneca, Camp 1, the logging spurs, the route to Hines, and the mill site in Hines. The lower grades will build an "inset" of that map, also tabletop-sized and showing the detail of Seneca, the shops, and the mill.
---This may be a never-ending project! Each year our project will grow with more detail to the maps, a larger collection of interviews, and hopefully our own collection of photos and artifacts.
---We also want to include a history of Seneca School. . . .