As families prepare for the upcoming school year, they’re invited to experience what a school day was like in old Saline.
The annual Old Fashion Ice Cream Social takes place from 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Weber-Blaess one-room school house, located at 520 Woodland Drive.
From the moment one steps through the white board fence surrounding the historic school, they can enjoy homemade ice cream with a variety of toppings as ladies with white gloves and parasols leisurely stroll the grounds. Grilled hot dogs will also be served.
Other free activities include:
- Musical entertainment and a sing-along.
- Classroom reenactments of a typical day in a one-room school will give insight into the teachings and discipline of a young maiden teacher to her students using the McGuffey Readers and slateboards.
- Children will enjoy playing the games that a 1900s recess period would have included, such as hopscotch, graces, stilts and many more. A craft area will also be available.
- The Saline Area Fire Department will conduct a bucket brigade to demonstrate the 1800s method of transporting water to put out a blaze.
New to the event this year is a live auction, conducted by David Helmer of Braun and Helmer Auction Service. The purpose of this event is to demonstrate to how auctions were used to sell commodities and goods. Helmer will auction off lunch with Saline Area Schools principals Brad Bezeau, Betty Rosen-Leacher, David Raft, Les Sharon and Michele Szczechowicz.
Saline City Council members and city staff will compete against Saline Area Schools board members and staff in events like croquet, watermelon seed spitting, stilt-walking and Bag-O. Croquet Champ David Rhoads and stilt-walking record holder David Raft are ready to take on all challengers.
Proceeds from this event, held by the Saline Area Schools Historic Preservation Foundation, will be used for maintaining the schoolhouse. The front entrance addition was recently repainted and a railing added for easier entrance. The doors have also been refinished on the front. Trees and shrubs are needed to add shade on the property. Curriculum needs are not extensive but with over 1800 children visiting the school on an annual basis, materials are needed for their projects and activities. The Saline Area Schools Historic Preservation Foundation, founded in 2001, has a mission to support the history of Saline Schools with emphasis on the one-room school era. Each year, over 1,100 elementary school social studies students visit the school to experience the kind of school day that a rural Saline student would have experienced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.