Morning Sun
  • Lakeside hosts annual Pioneer Day

  • Ruth Zimmerman asked seemingly every group that came through what a particular pot was used for in the pioneer home.

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  • Ruth Zimmerman asked seemingly every group that came through what a particular pot was used for in the pioneer home.
    “We talked about chores and how everybody had to work together on chores. I asked them what they suppose this [pot] is used for, and they never guess it right,” Zimmerman said. “They guess soup, hot water, eggs... Finally I tell them to remember there was no indoor restroom. And that they had an outhouse, and this is called a chamber pot.”
    Besides the now outdated chores, Lakeside Elementary students got to have a day’s worth of activities related to the life and times of the pioneers. It’s all the result of plans years ago by Sandy Haile.
    “It’s more of a history day. A learning day. We do so much Kansas history, especially in January, and this ties into that, for all grades. Kindergarten on up. We talk about cultures and family,” Haile said.
    There were several stations set up throughout and around the building, and the Zimmermans’ station was just one of those. In addition to the history lesson on pots, the Hickory Creek Farms owners also spoke about cows, pigs and other livestock on the pioneer farm.
    Other stations included live horses, a trapper, a rope maker, and even a group of musicians playing Civil War-era songs.
    Haile said that she originally got the idea one summer, roughly 20 years ago.
    “I was a park ranger in the summer in Southeast Missouri, and I’d give programs to the visitors. So I went into the hills and did interviews on how they did trapping and furs, and I brought that back and put into the program. After the second or third year, I thought I ought to bring that and put it into the classroom,” Haile said.
    It’ll be a little strange going forward, however, as Haile is retiring after this year. But don’t think Pioneer Day is going away just yet.
    “Destry [Brown, USD 250 superintendent] asked if I wanted to come back and do it next year. I plan on doing it at least another two or three years. Who knows? At the time we first started, nobody was doing anything like this,” she said.
    Ultimately, although many of these students come from the city, they each hopefully left with a little knowledge of country pioneer life.
    “So many students do not get to go to Silver Dollar City. This brings a historical event into the classroom for kids to enjoy,” Haile said. “It’s educational and fun. It’s a mini-Silver Dollar City.”
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