Fourth graders adventure among ghost marks and artifacts

Warwick fourth graders visited Warwick Historical Society sites where items from antiquity were maintained and retrieved from archaeological digs.

| 15 Jun 2022 | 01:28

History came alive for fourth grade students from Park Avenue and Sanfordville Elementary schools last week on their field trip to the Warwick Historical Society’s buildings and properties.

“It feels like a privilege to carry on a 40 year tradition creating lifetime memories for these students,” said Warwick Historical Society (WHS) Executive Director Nora Gurvich.

The children engaged in hands-on learning while operating the mid-1800s corn sheller machine and pointing out the “ghost marks” on Baird’s Tavern, which are areas on the outside of the building that have been renovated, although the original construction is still detectable.

In the Tavern that was built in 1766, students stepped into the room where Martha Washington slept in a canopy bed. While making their way up into the attic, they were stunned that Francis Baird, the original owner, charged only 10 cents for travelers to sleep there for the night.

Behind Baird’s Tavern at the Hasbrouck Carriage House, an early Warwick doctor’s carriage was displayed on the lawn. The horse drawn carriage has lanterns to light the way for nighttime calls from the doctor. Upstairs in the Carriage House is a re-creation of a doctor’s office with equipment dating from 100 years ago.

Making their way across Main St. with the assistance of the Warwick Police Department, students visited the Shingle House Complex on Forester Ave. Behind the oldest house in the Village, the youngsters toured the site of an archaeological dig that is now in its tenth year.

The Historical Society’s Shingle Dig Team enthusiastically showed students many of the thousands of artifacts they discovered in a cistern underground behind the annex of a house built in 1764. Artifacts in the lab of the Sly Barn range from buttons to animal bones to pottery and medicine bottles.

In an adjoining room of the Sly Barn, children were fascinated by the antique household appliances and farm tools. They were also eager to learn about the Lehigh and Hudson River Caboose from 1909 that is situated next to the barn.

Wrapping up the tour, students went into the Old School Baptist Meeting House to admire the design and work of architect William Foght and builder Azariah Ketchum, a Warwick native. Afterwards, they enjoyed sack races and lunch in Lewis Park.

Summing up the day, WHS Immediate Past President and Chair of the Society’s Education Committee Mary Ann Knight said, “It was a wonderful collaboration among the Warwick Historical Society, Warwick Valley Central School District, teachers, parents, volunteers and the Warwick Police Department to make it a spectacular day for students.”