This week, South Orangetown Middle School seventh-graders took a field trip to Orangetown, circa 1774.
“The Orangetown Historical Museum & Archives, in conjunction with the Tappantown Historical Society and Millbrook Village’s Fred Schofler, set up three exhibits for our students at the historic Salyer House in Pearl River,” explains social studies teacher James Amandola. “The American Revolution is a main theme in the Grade 7 social studies curriculum. Our kids are getting the opportunity to interact with primary source documents, experience aspects of a soldier’s camp, and learn about their community’s role in history.”
Museum Director Mary Cardenas and her team guided students–and social studies teachers Amandola, Dawn Bongiovanni, Chip Foley and Sarah Kukla–through an exhibit on spymaster John Andre and another on Orangetown Loyalists, such as the well-known Sneden family. By reading the Orangetown Resolutions (1774) for themselves, the seventh-graders discovered that Orangetown residents were loyal to King George III, but opposed taxation.
A scout camp pitched on the Salyer House grounds gave students a first-hand look at a soldier’s life, with hands-on demonstrations that included creating a friction fire.