Monday, June 5, 2023

Photos: Oaklands Mansion educates children on life in the 1800s


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Photos by Shade Narramore / Contributing Photographer

Story by Altima Sisavad / Contributing Writer

Murfreesboro’s historic Oaklands Mansion took “Throwback Thursday” to another level with their 2017 Autumn in the Oaks Educational Field Day. The field day educated children about life in the 1800s.

There were many students, teachers and parents learning all things 1800s, including chores, such as washing clothes with washboards, feeding chickens, churning butter, quill writing and rug beating.

Mary Cook, a third grade teacher at Southside Elementary School of Shelbyville, has been bringing her class to the Autumn in the Oaks Educational Field Day for about six years now.

“I want my children to have a little bit more knowledge of the 1800s,” Cook said. “Everything is more accessible these days; children have no idea about chalkboards and having to get your eggs from chickens.”

Employees and volunteers also enjoyed the educational field day. Audrey Creel works as a part-time tour guide and enjoys showing children around the mansion.

“The mansion has so many interesting things about it and really takes you back to the 1800s.”

See a full gallery below.

For more information on Oaklands Mansion, click here. 

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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  1. Primarily, I would like to address the fact that learning is a beautiful concept. Any event that promotes knowledge of an enriching past topic that makes curious the mind of the young is a necessary event. It is pointed out in the article that, not only do the children enjoy this field day learning about the 1800s but so do the volunteers and teachers accompanying the young ones out on their past tense voyage. This serves to prove that no matter ones age, bringing a group of community members together to learn about the past and to grow knowledge of a topic in general can be entertaining as well as opportunistic for all.
    The section of this article that caught my eye, and provoked my thoughts compared to others was the teachers opinion that it is good for children of today to see how people had to live back then with everything less available and accessible. This is an extremely important lesson for children to learn as they were born and are beginning to grow up in a world where they can just go to a grocery store to get any food they want, and turn to their iPhone to order products and rely on laptops for entertainment. When being taught to step back in time for the day when things weren’t just handed to you and able to be ordered with the click of a button or retrieved in the blink of an eye. After this field day, they are instilled with the knowledge that it hadn’t always been this easy, and are humbled by how lucky they are to have everything so accessible and live such lavish lives. This is important as many children do not comprehend and see how blessed they are compared to how hard children had to work back then.
    To conclude, bringing back the 1800’s and sharing the culture to serve as a lesson and enriching experience to children is a wonderful idea. By going to the mansion for the day and learning about the trials and tribulations about the 1800’s culture children are humbled, more appreciative and knowledgeable about the past of their country. The learning was presented in a hands on way that entertained not only the children, but the teachers and volunteers as well. Taking a stroll to the past, was just one of many brilliant event ideas that strengthens minds of the youth and brings community members together.

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