Oceanside Library gives view into colonial life

OCEANSIDE — Children at the Civic Center Library learned what colonial life was like with games and hands-on demonstrations of early settlers’ daily chores March 31.The presentation was given by Greg Miller of Colonial Educators.

“He comes dressed in britches, buckle shoes and a three-corner hat,” Grace Francisco, principal librarian and youth services manager, said.

Miller said he researched a distant relative from his wife’s family tree to bring the past alive for his listeners.

“I portray Captain Marston,” Miller said. “A Naval man, who after his retirement, settled in Hampton, N.H.”

Miller found that Marston was a town father in 1620. He came from England and had a Puritan background.

The character helps Miller teach children what daily life was like and how colonial government was developed and evolved into the American Revolution. The lesson satisfies fifth- and sixth-grade social studies curriculum standards.

“When they arrived they had nothing,” Miller said. “They had to grow their own food, grow their own medicine, and grow their own clothing. It’s really an eye-opener for a lot of kids. There were no houses, no roads, no Albertsons.”

The lesson was brought to life by artifacts that were passed around, as Miller described the journey by sea from Ormesbe, England, to New Hampshire; early homes of tents, sod and logs; and family size and longevity. Artifacts included hornbooks, raw cotton, men’s breeches, a hoop and stick and dozens of other items.

Miller demonstrated the process of weaving cloth on a loom and sewing it into a garment.

“They wore the clothes until they wore out,” Miller said.

He also discussed the amicable relationship between early settlers and Native American Indians in New Hampshire. Native Americans taught early settlers about native foods and local gardening techniques.

Miller shared his belief that we are prosperous today thanks to the hard work of our forefathers who established the United States to earn a fair living and have religious freedom.

“It’s the best country in world,” Miller said. “We should never forget where we came from.”

The Oceanside Public Library hosted the workshop to enhance the experience of fifth- and sixth-grade library goers who are reading and researching colonial times.

Francisco said the library works with the Oceanside Unified School District regularly to have book collections ready for grade level assignments.

“We have a great working relationship,” Francisco said. “It’s all about kids reading.”

 

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