TAHOE/TRUCKEE - What do animal pelts, boat parts, and scientific tools tell us about Lake Tahoe History? The Tahoe Maritime Museum aims to let local students explore this question through the launch of the Traveling Trunk History Program. Developed by Tahoe Maritime Museum staff and funded by an El Dorado Community Foundation Grant, the program will be led by the museum's Public Programs Coordinator Katena Sanford. "If the classes can't come to the museum, we will come to them," said Sanford. "The museum has a ton to offer local kids and we want them to be informed about this amazing place; Tahoe is full of history. They should know what happened here before them because it shaped how they are living here now." The Traveling Trunk is free to North Shore, South Shore, and Truckee schools.
Thomas J. Noel, a Denver area historian stated, "History is not just something that happened long ago and far away. History happens to all of us all the time. Local history brings history home, it touches your life, the life of your family, your neighborhood, your community." The Traveling Trunk program allows local students to more deeply understand the place they call home. The Tahoe Maritime Museum Traveling Trunk Program will focus on the history of the Lake Tahoe region specifically addressing the following third grade Education and the Environment Initiative standards: 3.1.2, 3.2.2, 3.5.1, and 3.5.2. The session will last 50 minutes and in that time students will break off into groups of three to five, depending on class size. Each group will be assigned a different period of Lake Tahoe history. The groups will be given a photograph, artifact, and written document from their assigned time period. As a group, they will try to answer, "What did this group value from Lake Tahoe?"
Students will have time to investigate the articles and examine the available materials from their era to determine what their group valued from Lake Tahoe. Artifacts include animal pelts and bones, salvaged boat pieces, historic fishing gear, and other items the students will have to investigate to determine for what they were used. Each group will have a chance to share their findings with the class in chronological order so the group understands the progression of Lake Tahoe history, its changing economies, and use of resources.
The hands-on approach to learning about local history will allow the students to be the historians and investigators, using artifacts, documents, and photographs to determine what their group did to survive in Lake Tahoe and what they valued from the area. The program is designed to be interactive, fun, and challenge the students to figure out the history on their own. To get your student's classroom involved contact Sanford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-525-9253, ext. 103.
A private nonprofit, the mission of the Tahoe Maritime Museum is to stimulate an interest in and an understanding of Lake Tahoe's rich maritime history through the highest standards of historic preservation, innovative interpretation and public education. The museum is currently open to the public Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located near Homewood Mountain Resort. Admission is $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. Please visit www.tahoemaritimemuseum.org for further information on exhibits and events.