History camp at The Castle

ERIN O’NEILL The Marietta Times Melissa Rohrer, owner of Acorn Pottery, demonstrates to Evan Black how to form pottery using an electric wheel on Tuesday. Black is one of the campers at the week-long history camp at The Castle.

Campers got a chance to get their hands dirty at The Castle Tuesday as part of a week-long look into early history.

Students from all over Washington and surrounding counties from third- through sixth-grade had the opportunity to learn about life during the period of 1800 to 1820. On Tuesday, the young people learned about Nathaniel Clark, a potter and early business owner who set up shop in 1808 at the location of The Castle on Fourth Street.

“Potters were really valuable and important in the early days of the pioneers,” explained Castle archeologist Wes Clarke.

As Clarke spoke, the students were carving maker’s marks in clay and taking turns on a pottery wheel that was set up in the backyard. There are 30 campers this year which, according to Castle educator Kyle Yoho, is the largest number to ever sign up for the event.

“We have a really good number this year and a lot of fun things for them to do,” he said.

On Monday the children learned about quilting, a social gathering of the time period. For Evan Black, 10, a student at Harmar Elementary, it was difficult to decide what was the most fun.

“I really liked doing to quilt blocks yesterday but I had a lot of fun with the pottery,” he said.

Melissa Rohrer, a local artisan and owner of Acorn Pottery, demonstrated how to use an electric pottery wheel. She explained that during the time period being studied, potters would use a different method.

“They had a wheel of sorts but they operated it by pushing it around with their foot,” she said.

Inside the home, Jane Crumrine and Castle director Scott Britton helped the students prepare apple pies and Jenny Bruce, makerspace coordinator with Building Bridges to Careers, helped them make candles.

“We’re doing so many interesting things!” exclaimed 8-year-old Frances Ryckebosch as she stepped up to dip her candles in the beeswax, donated by the Bee Barn.

The candle project went over especially well for Zoey Miller, 10, a student at Oak Grove Christian School.

“I’ve done this before at Campus Martius and I really, really love it. It’s my favorite,” she said.

The rest of the week will include learning about the troubles of the frontier with a visit from an Ohio National Guardsman, shipbuilding, fabric dying and tinsmithing on Thursday and learning about the African American experience on the frontier.

“It’s been a good experience and it’s a lot different from the other camps I go to,” said senior counselor Jarrett Parks, a freshman at Marietta High School. “It’s just really cool to learn about the history of where we live.”



¯ 1800

– Napoleon marches into Austria

– First use of the White House

¯ 1801

– Tsar Paul I assassinated

– Thomas Jefferson becomes president

¯ 1802

– West Point Military Academy established

¯ 1803

– The Louisiana Purchase

– Ohio becomes the 17th state in the Union

¯ 1804

– The Lewis and Clark Expedition

¯ 1809

– The Illinois territory defined

– Man-made electrical lighting

– James Madison Becomes President

¯ 1810

– Beethoven composes “Fur Elise”

¯ 1811

– The Battle of Tippecanoe

– New Madrid Earthquake, Missouri

¯ 1812

– Louisiana Joins The Union

– The Indian War of 1812

¯ 1813

– Jane Austen writes “Pride and Prejudice”

¯ 1814

– British troops burn down Washington D.C.

– Napoleon Abdicates the French Throne

¯ 1815

– Battle Of Waterloo

¯ 1816

– Indiana becomes the 19th state

¯ 1817

– Mississippi becomes the 20th state

¯ 1818

– Mary Shelley writes The Modern Prometheus/Frankenstein

– Illinois becomes the 21st State

¯ 1819

– Alabama becomes the 22nd state

– US Congress enacts First Immigration Law

¯ 1820

– Joseph Smith’s vision/Mormon Church established

– Maine becomes the 23rd state