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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Enoch Wright House and Museum of Westward Expansion

You know how we love a field trip!  Today we went on our 7th field trip of the year.  This time we traveled about 20 minutes away to the Enoch Wright House and Museum of Westward Expansion in Peters Township, PA.  Enoch Wright's father, Joshua Wright, settled in the area in the mid-1700s on a land grant.  At the time that he settled here, the Pittsburgh area was a vast wilderness.  You can visit the log cabin that Joshua Wright built for his family, as well as the larger house that his son, Enoch, had built in the early 1800s.

Here's Scrappy's perspective:

I went to the Enoch Wright house. He was born in 1776. He lived in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. There were trees all around the cabin. His dad had to cut down all the trees to build the cabin, which was probably hard work. Then, years later, he built a big house, which was done in 1816. He traded his goods and became a rich man.

The big house is made of brick. Two families lived in it. It had one main staircase. Both sides of the house were exactly the same. One of the old bedrooms has been turned into a room where you can learn about coal and coal mining. I thought it was strange that coal miners wore gas lamps on their helmets because the mines were full of gases and it could have exploded. I don't think that job would be very fun.

Another thing I learned was that young boys learned to shoot a rifle, use a bow and arrow, and throw an ax. A lot of boys had knives to skin animals. When boys turned sixteen, they had to help fix the road. I'm glad I don't have to work on the road.

Such a nine-year-old boy, isn't he?  And just for fun, here's Funny's five-year-old girl perspective:

Today I went on a field trip. I went to the Enoch Wright house. There were a lot of steps there. It was a big, fancy house. There were a lot of dresses in one of the rooms. They were pretty. There were two kitchens. There were two of everything because two families lived in the house. In the kitchen, there was a big fireplace for cooking. There was a hook and a bucket was on it and it hung over the fire. The cook had to pull the hook away from the fire so the food didn't get burnt. I also saw some weapons. There were axes and a bow and arrows.

There was a cabin there, too. The cabin is older than the house. They built a ladder so everyone could get up to the beds. The cabin was small. It was made of logs from trees that were cut down where the cabin was built. There were American Indians nearby. The people in the cabin were not friends with the Indians because the Indians didn't want them to destroy the land. The people who lived in the cabin had to hunt for food. They had to hang the meat up to dry so they could eat in the winter. It was a hard life.

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