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Pioneer Times USA


A Visit to North Vernon Elementary 2005

Photos by Jim Cummings

Presenters and Re-Enactors Melanie Kuntz, Jay Kell and Kathy Cummings

Demonstrating at her spinning wheel Melanie Kuntz spoke of materials and clothing of the early settlers.

Jay Kell holds a skin as he discusses the early frontier. Kell who portrays George Girty, a well known white renegade spoke knowledgebly of Indian life - from the pilgrims to early Indiana tribes.

Melanie Kuntz portrays Ann McGinty, who brought the first spinning wheel to the frontier when she settled at Harrodsburg, KY. Ann was married four times losing all of her husbands to Indian attacks.

Kathy Cummings gave a first person account of living at both Painted Stone Station and the early Indiana settlement of Pigeon Roost when both were attacked by Indians.

Tables of frontier goods were on display for the children to see and handle.

Students from several grades were on hand for the presentations.

Young re-enactors Samantha and Morgan Kell (daugters of Jay and Cindy Kell) got to show their classmates their clothing. Samantha a third grader dressed as a native girl and Morgan (1st grade ) as a pioneer child.

In honor of Thanksgiving Jay Kell teaches the students the native word for turkey.

Hands on experiences for the students mean lessons well remembered.

Melanie Kuntz’s display of wool, and hand woven items showed the transformation from sheep’s wool to garments.

At right - students examine this website and CD magazine provided by Graphic Enterprises.

Below - Students at North Vernon Elementary had already been studying native culture. On display in the library were a collection of projects depicting longhouses and Indian habitats.

Students examine a buffalo skin.

Jim Cummings brought poster size photos of historical re-enactments which were placed around the library.

Thanks to the students, teachers and staff at North Vernon Elementary for inviting us to your school!

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