Fun on the frontier

The 38 students at Cottonwood Grove Christian School northwest of Durham-and a lot of their parents and grandparents-turned out Friday to reenact life during the days of the early pioneers. Children, decked out in pioneer garb, waited anxiously for the festivities to begin (upper left photo). As part of a study of the Oregon Trail, children and adults were treated to a ride in a covered wagon furnished by Jim Donahue of Durham (upper and lower right). They also made homemade ice cream the old-fashioned way by rolling a coffee can with ice and ice cream mix back and forth, as demonstrated by Susan Unruh, Holly Isaac and Ashley Dirks (lower left). Students and teachers recreated a one-room school experience in the morning that including recitation and a spelling bee, and students completed their assignments on slates made by Warren Unruh for the occasion. At the end of the day, the children bobbed for apples. To help students comprehend the length of the Oregon Trail, teachers created a running path in the back of the school, and students ran a cumulative 2,000 miles over a nine-week period. Teachers said parents and grandparents were invited to attend, but they were surprised by the high turnout. Ironically, the Cottonwood Grove school, operated by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, is located only a few hundred yards from the historic Cottonwood Crossing on the Santa Fe Trail.

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