Trained staff members – costumed for the role of 1890s schoolmarms – take children through a typical lesson, reminiscent of a school day before the turn of the century. To fully-experience mid-19th century schooling in a two-hour timeframe, students write their exercises on slates and in their hand-made copybooks, and read from actual McGuffy Readers.
Children usually dress up for the visit, adding an air of authenticity. Boys wear suspenders, high-top shoes, and overalls or dark trousers tucked into their socks to look like knickers. Girls wear long dresses or skirts, with aprons or pinafores made from material with small print or checks. Girls also wear bonnets or large bows in their hair.
The schoolhouse is conveniently located on its original site at 6490 Wing Lake Road in Bloomfield Township, off of Maple Road and west of Telegraph.
Preparing for your class visit to the Wing Lake Stone Schoolhouse
Wing Lake School was typical of its time and place, and offers a very different school experience than children encounter today. Students will step into and relive the past.
We take care of everything during your visit, so you enjoy the program along with your students. To ensure that everyone has a great experience, we ask you to:
- Divide the class into four grades: second, third, fourth and fifth. Better readers should be placed in the higher grades. The "older" children will be responsible for the "younger" children. Historical reading materials will be geared toward "actual grade level".
- Provide student nametags so that the schoolmarm can call them by name.
- Have students prepare copy books made of two piece of construction paper with five or six pages of lined paper, and fastened with a string.
- Memorize with students the 19th century pledge to the flag, which was used until 1892: "I give my hand and my heart to my country – one nation, one language, one flag".
- Ensure that students bring a "no litter" lunch, without modern packaging like glass, juice boxes or packaged foods, if they are staying for a full-day program.