The Fourth Graders’ Adventure Among Ghost Marks and Artifacts


History came alive for fourth graders from Park Avenue and Sanfordville Elementary schools last week during their field trip to the buildings and properties of the Warwick Historical Society.

“It is a privilege to continue a 40-year tradition of creating lifelong memories for these students,” said Warwick Historical Society (WHS) Chief Executive Nora Gurvich.

The children engaged in hands-on learning while operating the mid-1800s corn sheller and pointing out the “ghost marks” on Baird’s Tavern, which are areas outside the building that have been renovated, although that the original construct is still detectable. .

In the tavern built in 1766, the students entered the room where Martha Washington slept in a four-poster bed. Climbing up to the attic, they were amazed that Francis Baird, the original owner, only charged travelers 10 cents to sleep there overnight.

Behind Baird’s Tavern at Hasbrouck Carriage House, an old Warwick doctor’s car was displayed on the lawn. The carriage has lanterns to light the way for the doctor’s nighttime calls. Upstairs in the Carriage House is a recreation of a doctor’s surgery with equipment from 100 years ago.

Crossing Main Street with the help of the Warwick Police Department, the students toured the Shingle House complex on Forester Ave. Behind the oldest house in the village, the young people visited the site of an archaeological dig which is now in its tenth year. .

The Historical Society’s shingle excavation team enthusiastically showed the students many of the thousands of artifacts they discovered in an underground cistern behind the addition of a house built in 1764. The artifacts from the lab of the Sly Barn range from buttons and animal bones to pottery and medicine bottles. .

In an adjoining room in the Sly Barn, children were fascinated by antique household appliances and farm tools. They were also eager to learn more about the 1909 Lehigh and Hudson River caboose located next to the barn.

To conclude the visit, the students went to the Old School Baptist Meeting House to admire the design and work of architect William Foght and builder Azariah Ketchum, originally from Warwick. Then they enjoyed sack races and lunch at Lewis Park.

Summarizing the day, Mary Ann Knight, Past President of the WHS and Chair of the Society’s Education Committee, said: “It was a wonderful collaboration between the Warwick Historical Society, the Warwick Valley Central School District, teachers , parents, volunteers and the Warwick Police Service to make it a spectacular day for students.


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