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It’s old school time at Micke Grove

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It’s old school time at Micke Grove

Third-grade students from a local charter school took part in the living history program of the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum in Micke Grove Regional Park.

VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin


POSTED June 16, 2012 3:13 a.m.

LODI – The past lives on at the old Calaveras School at Micke Grove Regional Park.

It’s part of Valley Days and Pioneer Days, an award-winning living history program of the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum, for third-, fourth- and fifth- grade students of the county from late September to May.

During a recent outing, third-grade students from Stockton Collegiate International School spent part of the day experiencing life during a simpler time inside the rural one-room school house built in 1866 and once located along Highway 88 and Eight Mile Road.

They sat in the old school desks, opening the day by saluting the flag and reciting a version of the Pledge of Allegiance dating back to 1884.

According to Dianne Drieve, who, at the time, was the museum’s docent in training, they also used writing implements of the day such as scribbling chalk on to a slate board and dipping quill into an inkwell.

Students from the charter school were far removed from Internet access or video games. Instead, they played games outside the school house such as pick-up sticks and jump rope, and doing so while wearing clothes reminiscent of a century ago. No doubt they were influenced by watching old television episodes of “Little House on a Prairie.”

The living history program also fulfilled a part of the charter school curriculum, with Stockton Collegiate teacher Maria Brown learning of it from her mentor, John Piasecki.

The school house is part of the museum that tracks down the history of California’s heartland.

Inside the Erickson Building, those following a self-guided tour learn that native tribes – most notably, the Miwoks and Yokuts – were among the earliest settlers.

Capt. Charles M. Weber, however, was the area’s founding father.

He was once a business partner of William Gulnac, who owned a large tract of land in San Joaquin Valley.

Gulnac transferred this 48,747-acre parcel also known as El Campo de los Franceses to Weber in 1845 for the price of “179 pesos, one hundred in silver and seventy-nine in goods.”

Two years later, Weber settled on the land with “20 trappers and hunters, 4,000 cattle and 200 horses” while referring to this settlement as “Tuleburg” for its abundance of Tule reeds.

It wasn’t long before he officially changed the name to Stockton in honor of Commodore Robert F. Stockton, who promised yet failed to help him secure the title for El Campos de los Franceses.

Other points of interest include:

• The Museum Mercantile, where admission fees to museum are paid and where gifts, books, and snacks can be purchased.

• The clamshell dredge bucket that was once used to deepen the channel of the San Joaquin River and form levees in the Delta.

• The Delta Building, which is home to the largest collections of hand and foot-powered tools.

• The Micke Building showcases a wide variety of wagons and carriages along with exhibits on dairy farming, general farming and construction of wooden wheels.

• The Tree and Vine Building features nuts, fruits, and grapes grown in San Joaquin County. The Flame Tokay grapevines and the orange Pacific Fruit Express can be seen just outside these doors.

• The Agricultural Equipment Center and the Brown-Jones Building displays “land-leveling and earth-moving equipment.”

• The Rosen Building has a great collection of wheeled and tracked tractors.

•    The McNeilly Building consists of small engines and equipment coupled with small trucks, toys and model tractors.

• Outside, the Sunshine Trail consists of small wooden covered bridges, waterfalls, and native plants from the coastal Redwoods, through the Coast Range, foothills, Sierra Nevada and the San Joaquin Valley can be found along the trail.

• Capt. Weber’s cottage built in 1847 and once located on the Stockton Channel can be found along the trail.

• Julia Weber’s house built in 1892 and, prior to 2001, was at its original location along the Calaveras River near West Lane, can be seen further down the same trail. She was the only daughter of Capt. Weber and his wife, Helen Murphy Weber.

In addition, a Classic Car Show benefiting “Raise the Barn” will be held Saturday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the museum. Featured will be vintage cars from 1970 and older.

“Raise the Barn” is a project of the Museum Docent Council to construct an educational building as a permanent shelter for youth educational programs while providing shelter space and storage needs for the Valley Days and Pioneer School programs.



VINCE REMBULAT
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