Creating a presidential look
Area children got to learn about the myth, legend and truth surrounding George Washington during a program Monday at Campus Martius Museum.
Cassandra Thomas, 10, of Piketon, was one of 15 children who attended the Presidents Day at the Museum event, which ran from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
“It’s very exciting,” she said, adding that she was having a fun time learning.
Rebecca Thomas, 42, brought Cassandra, her sister Charity, 10, and brother Case, 8.
“I found out about the museum not long ago, and we homeschool,” Thomas said. “We’re doing Early American Colonial History and this event is right up our alley.”
Thomas said it was the first time she and her children have ventured into Marietta and they were excited to see new places.
“I think they’re enjoying themselves,” she said of her children.
Those who attended were able to learn about some of the truth behind the myths surrounding Washington.
Glenna Hoff, education and program director for the museum, said that myth-busting is always fun.
“We talk about the myths and legends, like he didn’t have wooden teeth,” Hoff said.
She added that the teeth were actually made of animal bone and lead. She said the lead in his teeth could have led to Washington’s illness. She also said that Washington never threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River because they hadn’t been made at that time.
The last few years’ events have alternated between Washington and Abraham Lincoln as a focus, said Hoff. She added that the plan would be to “stick with George Washington from here on out.”
Hoff said the event is to show how closely Marietta, and Washington County, relate to the country’s history.
“George Washington has such a strong connection to Washington County, the Ohio Company and Rufus Putnam,” she said. “We’re really proud of our connection with U.S. history, and local history; we were the first settlement in the Northwest Territory.”
Hoff said some ideas for the event were taken from similar programs at Mt. Vernon, but that making powdered wigs was pure Campus Martius.
“It’s fun,” she said.
Charity Thomas said she enjoyed putting cotton balls on a painter’s hat to simulate what a powdered wig looks like.
“It looks like a gluey, cottony mess,” she remarked.
Children also got a lesson in surveying from museum historian Bill Reynolds.
“It was the hardest skill in the 18th century for people to learn,” he said. “They had to excel at mathematics.”
Alysia Roux, 31, of Marietta, said she enjoyed bringing her children, Brayden, 8, and Brionna, 7. Both are homeschooled.
“We attended when they had a man posing as Abraham Lincoln,” she said. “We really liked it, so we came back. The kids really enjoyed it.”
Roux said that her children enjoy learning about all the presidents, but that they have two favorites.
“George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are both their favorite presidents,” she said. “They wanted to come (back); it’s always nice when they want to learn.”