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Student docents tour Plumb Grove

June 08, 2000|By KERRI SACCHET

CLEAR SPRING -Aric Lippoldt, playing the role of his great-great grandfather, Gottlob Lippoldt, spoke to a third-grade tour group Thursday about mouse teeth, historic wealth, and the Nesbitts.

"The bricks used on this house were very expensive, and they used stone on the side because it was less expensive and guests wouldn't see that part of the house," Lippoldt said.

The 10-year-old Lippoldt and six of his fellow students Thursday donned clothes that reflected the 19th century and spoke to nearly 165 students from Clear Spring Elementary School.

Lippoldt said his favorite part of the house are the mouse teeth-designed bricks that were decoratively placed on the front as a status symbol.

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The tour then moved inside of the house, which was restored by the Clear Spring District Historical Association, and learned about the hallway area from Alexander Barnes, 10, of Clear Spring.

"My goal is to teach the children about ancestors and how they lived," Barnes said.

Wearing a bonnet and dress that suited the era, Jenna Smith, 10, told the groups about the burial rituals of the 1800's in the living room of the house that held original portraits of the home's owners.

"The tour is really fun and we get to share information with other people," Smith said. "They were really superstitious back then and some of what they believed was silly."

The students had to choose names of ancestors to portray, and 11 year-old Jessica Bair picked her great-great aunt's name Juila Holl.

"I was nervous at first, but it got better," Bair said. "I like giving the tours of the upstairs and the bedrooms are pretty."

Emily Myers, 10, gave the tour of the dining room and kitchen and said she loved giving the tour to kids her own age and would want to do it again in the future.

The students researched information on the house and had to type up and memorize their parts, said 10-year-old Maggie Wolford, who practiced her part for two hours to prepare for the tours.

"It was fun that we got to give the tour instead of someone else giving us a tour," Wolford said.

Kyle Graybill, 10, brought a new aspect to the tours by asking the tour group to answer questions about the objects in his room of the house.

"I just wanted to see if they could think of anything," Graybill said, "My favorite thing about today would probably be just telling people about the old times."

Suanne Woodring, Project Challenge teacher, said the students are part of a research group in the Gifted and Talented program at the school. Woodring said this was the fifth year that students have done the Plumb Grove project and said they also go to Wilson School in Hagerstown, which is a historic one-room classroom.

"I'm very involved in history, and I look forward to doing this every year," Woodring said, "It's a challenge to put all together."

In addition to students touring during the day, the Project Challenge group held "Evening at Plumb Grove" attended by nearly 30 parents and relatives of group members, Woodring said.

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