Students learn local history


By Susie Spitler

For the Weekly Record Herald

WEST MILTON — On Tuesday, May 17, five community members shared local information with the Milton-Union third grade classes.

The program helps fulfill the requirements for the history curriculum. Jennie Walters coordinates the history program for the five classes.

Four of those giving presentations have done this for several years. They all bring along a number of visual aids to reinforce the information.

Rex Maggert, who is a member of the Miami County chapter of the Civil War Round-table, dresses in uniform. Among other things he brings along articles, pictures, documents and hard tack (a diet staple that the kids don’t think tastes very good). He shares different ways young people were involved during those years.

Bob Menker again brought his antique bicycles, which always causes excitement. Among other items, he also brought very old railroad lanterns, explaining how important the railroad once was to West Milton.

Barbara Cecil dresses in early 1900s clothing and shares items from her suitcase. She explains how nothing went to waste, for example, clothing made from feed sacks. The kids are tickled by some of the items, and enjoy trying some of them on.

Rev. Dick Martens discussed the history of the churches of West Milton. Not only how long some have been here, and some of the old practices, but also where some of the folks came from who started these churches.

As one of our regular speakers was not available, the teachers thought it would be good it the kids learned about a local charity. Evelyn Alder agreed to share about The Gleaning Place in downtown Milton. She explained how all the items in the store are donated, and that all profits from the sale of those items are used to help people in various ways. She also brought along some unusual items from the store to see if the kids could guess what they were.

The third grade teachers so much appreciate the time and effort these folks are willing to give to the students. And the speakers are always impressed with how courteous and well behaved the classes are.