School Programs

School Program – Living History

History and how does it work?

Each spring and fall season, classes of enthusiastic third graders come to Wartinger Park for hands-on experiences learning how families lived in the early 1800s. The Living History program is sponsored by the Beavercreek Historical Society in coordination with the Beavercreek Schools, St. Luke School, and the Beavercreek Parks. The teachers prepare their students with historical background information and enlist chaperones, and our Historical Society volunteers provide leadership for various activities. The program has been on-going since 1993.  

Each third grade class comes with their teacher and adult chaperones on a separate day; some in the spring and the remainder in the fall. In the mornings the children do a round-robin schedule to include butter churning, sewing, spinning, finger knitting, making rag dolls and barn/gardening chores. Each group is small, usually 4 children per group. These activities last until around noon. After a picnic lunch, the students remain at the park playing with our collection of historical toys, finishing up with a tour of the herb garden and a visit to the Jarusiewic Cabin that has been outfitted as an early 1800s school.

Eight volunteers are needed each morning, which includes an early morning volunteer who opens the cabins and lights the warming fires and an opening presenter. This presenter tells the story of how the Harshman family came to Beavercreek and some background about the park before the students begin their morning chores.

Volunteers dress in period costume and share a bit of Ohio history with these eager young people. We have costumes to lend if need be. Seeing the delight in the children’s faces as they go through the day’s activities is very special. A good way for a potential volunteer to see how to lead any of the activities is to attend one of the sessions to observe. No experience necessary!

Contact us at [email protected] for further information