BROWNSTOWN, Ind. (AP) — For many, the cabin once used to teach Indiana history at Brownstown Elementary School became a part of history.
Now, the cabin will have a chance to become a tool and a memory for even more as plans begin to move the unused building from behind the school to the Jackson County History Center Pioneer Village.
Brownstown Community School Board recently approved the donation of the cabin to the history center.
It's now in the process of talking to contractors and obtaining estimates for moving the one-room schoolhouse built in 1999 to resemble a cabin dating back to the 1840s, History Center volunteer Margo Brewer of Brownstown said.
The cabin was in use until 2008, when the school decided there was a need to focus less on the program and more on the required state standards, The Tribune in Seymour reported (http://bit.ly/PFCRvD ).
Retired fourth-grade teacher Laberta Otte said the cabin originally served to teach Indiana history as part of the fourth-grade curriculum. Fourth-grade students participated by learning about Indiana history before becoming part of staged scenes from history.
Students from the whole school as well as students from other schools came to see the fourth-graders perform during The Pioneer Days of Brownstown Elementary, Otte said.
"The true-to-life experience of pioneers educated the students of how Indiana developed into a great state by the hard work of our ancestors," Otte said.
She said Pioneer Days not only adhered to curriculum learning but also gave the students other life skills.
"They not only embellished the history curriculum but also empowered the Brownstown Elementary School students with self-esteem and camaraderie with each other," Otte said. "I appreciate the opportunity to have taught when this program was such a success."
Retired fourth-grade teacher Helen Lahrman said she retired before the cabin was put to use, but she was involved in the planning process. She said she is glad the cabin is being donated to Jackson County History Center.
"If it is going to go to ruin, I am happy it will be preserved," Lahrman said. "Any time you can get kids out of the classroom, you get their attention."
Brewer said the building is beautiful even though it hasn't been used in a while. It will be back in use when it moves to Pioneer Village.
"It's a nice addition and a good way to teach," Brewer said. "That's what it will be used for again. Right now, it's sitting idle."
While Otte is happy the cabin will be preserved and will continue to teach, she remembers the powerful tool it was for students of Brownstown Elementary School.
"It was phenomenal to witness the empowerment of Brownstown Elementary School students gaining self-esteem and greater speaking ability while sharing their pioneer knowledge," Otte said. "It's a time they won't forget and the patriotism they feel."
Information from: The (Seymour) Tribune, http://www.tribtown.com