Historical Programs

Stone School, Bloomfield Hills Schools History

Adventure, imagination and hands-on learning await your students in a faithfully-restored, 1859 one-room schoolhouse and a log cabin replica nestled in a 32-acre nature center, under the guidance of our trained staff.

Bloomfield Hills Schools is pleased to open this unique opportunity to your third or fourth graders, extending classroom instruction to an authentic field experience.

You and your students can actively learn in full day or half-day programs at our Wing Lake Stone Schoolhouse and Pioneer Days Log House, gaining an understanding of rural 19th century Michigan life. Our staff will lead grade-level activities aligned with the Michigan Core Standards. You enjoy the experience along with your students.

Pioneer Days at Bloomfield Hills Schools in MichiganAt the Bloomfield Hills Schools Nature Center, the Log House gives students the experience of pioneer living. Activities include candle dipping with bees wax, playing pioneer games, using old tools, and a variety of other hands-on activities.

Children also bake Great-Grandmother Merz' spice cookies in a wood stove (the class makes the dough before the trip at their home school and brings it along uncooked).

Two costumed staff members lead the Log House activities in a two-hour program – one inside and one outside, where they will perform chores and activities.

The log house is located at the Johnson Nature Center, 3325 Franklin Road in Bloomfield Township, between Hickory Grove and Long Lake and west of Telegraph.

Preparing for your class visit to the Pioneer Days Log House

We'll have a fire going in the wood stove and eagerly await your visit! Your class will be divided into two groups, guided by two community staff members in period costumes who will lead activities and instruction inside and outside the log house.

As with the Stone Schoolhouse, we lead the program during your visit so that you can observe and enjoy. To prepare, please:

  • Bring at least two (but no more than three) parents to help.
  • Bring a jug of apple cider or lemonade for students to drink at lunch.
  • Bring one batch of cookie dough NOT rolled into balls or baked (recipe included; if you have more than 30 students, double the recipe).
  • 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.
  • Ask students to bring a cup of plastic, tin or enamel for drinking throughout the day.
  • Remind everyone to dress for the weather, as you may be outside for an hour or more.
stone school house

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.

children using slate chalkboards

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.

Plan Your Historical Adventure

To plan your Bloomfield Historical Adventure
call Bowers School Farm at 248.341.6481
For more information contact . M-Th from 8:00am - 1:00pm

Full day, including the
Stone Schoolhouse and
the Log House
$12 per student

Half day at the
Stone Schoolhouse

$6 per student

Half day at the
Pioneer Log House
$9 per student

Schoolhouse capacityMinimum 17 students
(or a $100 min for 1 class; $200 for 2 classes)
Maximum 28 students
Log House capacityMinimum 17 students
(or a $150 min for 1 class; $250 for 2 classes)
Maximum 30 students
Full-day combination*Minimum 17 students
(or a $200 min for 1 class; $350 for 2 classes)
Maximum 28 students

*Two classes can be accommodated on the same day, using one bus. Students eat lunch after the morning program, at that location.