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Stepping back in time, might give six local children insight into the future. At least that’s the hope of Rebecca Taylor, organizer of Columbia City’s historic Caples House Museum and Oregon Honorary State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Clothes Washing

Children experience washing clothes by hand during the youth program at the Caples House.

Taylor and her museum volunteers, dressed in period costumes, hosted ‘Living a Child's Day in Oregon in 1870' at the museum Saturday, April 3, for six local girls as part of the museum’s youth program.

When COVID struck last spring in Columbia County and across the state, Caples House Museum was required to close, cancelling all school tours, celebrations, and other group events such as weddings and meetings, according to Taylor.

"It has been a long year and with much joy we are gradually opening back up and the April 3 Youth Museum Program was our first of the season," Taylor said. "In years past we focused on classroom field trips but since it is still not certain yet whether any classrooms will be allowed to schedule field trips this year, we decided to expand by offering weekend programs, too."

Journal Writing

The girls use goose feather quill pens to write in their journals.

Candle Dipping

The children learn how to dip candles.

Taylor described the three-hour April 3 program as an opportunity to offer the six children attending a fuller, richer experience of life in the mid-1800's. Future visits could be designed for smaller groups of youth, she said, since the students are so much more involved.

"When a class of 30 visit, they only participate in three hands-on activities and receive less personal attention,” she said. “The small group visits of less than 10 are great for family groups, birthday parties, etc."

Taylor and the museum volunteers designed the ’Living a Child's Day in Oregon in 1870' to engage the youth with personal relationships to the past.

"We hope they develop an appreciation and respect for those who came before us - learning from their positive attributes, incorporating helpful lessons from them to meet today's challenges and establish productive lifestyles for today," Taylor said. "Each student who visits the museum brings with them their own needs and interests so their take-away varies. We attempt to make the visit historically informative but engaging and fun."

Taylor describes the mission of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to provide education, historic preservation, and patriotism, such as honoring veterans.

"We hope that when young people visit the 150-year-old Caples House Museum, view the artifacts, and participate in hands-on activities, a personal interest in history may develop," Taylor said. "Maybe something they saw or did at Caples House will personally connect them to their history courses at school and help make their studies more meaningful. Maybe one thing they experienced will open doors to a lifelong passion in some aspect of history."

The Participants

The participating youth include far left in blue Kara Zerr and in pink and white, Jessica Fraser. Back row, far left with pink sweater Emma Zerr, Jocelyn Torrres, Lucinda Torres, and far right in blue matching outfit Elizabeth Fraser.

Taylor said the girls who participated in the Saturday event left excited and proud with their projects, which included a woven basket, goose feather quill pen and journal, dipped candle, quilted potholder, tin punched lantern and a yeast roll each child made.

The Caples House Museum is located at 1925 First Street in Columbia City. Taylor and museum volunteers may be reached at 503-293-6695, or email Taylor at dar.rebeccataylor@gmail.com.

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