Students visit Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern

Judy Mooers shows Northumberland fourth graders how to “gin” cotton for spinning.

The fourth-grade class at Northumberland Elementary School recently spent a day back in colonial times at Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern in Heathsville.

Some 90 students visited the Tavern. Teacher Alice Rice organized the annual field trip.

Divided into small groups, the students spent half-hour sessions at eight learning stations, reported manager Corinne Becker. This included quilting with the Tavern Quilt Guild; woodworking with the Tavern Woodworkers Guild; blacksmithing with the Tavern Blacksmith Guild; spinning and weaving with the Tavern Spinners & Weavers Guild; papermaking with Tavern volunteers; cooking with tools of the past with the Tavern Culinary Guild; and visiting the Old Jail with Tom Wolf of the Northumberland Historical Society.

Tavern volunteer Ellen Hollows gave the children an introduction and wrap-up session, putting the visit in context within Northumberland County’s colonial past.

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