We planned a field trip to the Jackson Homestead with our homeschool group. We had nearly 30 people between the ages of 7 and 50, and everyone enjoyed the visit.
The foyer explains the background of the owners and their involvement with the abolition movement and the underground railroad in the 1800s. The children were able to look at source documents and work in teams to make inferences on the information and draw conclusions.
Next, we moved to the lower level which is professionally outfitted with plaques explaining the history and a lot of fantastic artifacts. There were several interactive and “please touch” areas, which all the children (and even the teens enjoyed). There were boxes they could climb into to show what it was like to travel across the ocean as a captured slave, and the interesting story of Henry Box Brown. There was even an excavated well (covered with a grate, of course) that may have been used to hide fugitive slaves.
On the main floor, the children were able to explore some of the other areas of the house, like “Newton’s Toy Chest,” information on stained glass, and an extensive time-line of the house and history makers.
Upstairs was a small area open to the public (due to their offices being on that floor) that had a flag on display from the civil war era. and envelopes used for propaganda during that time period. There were also pictures of the original rooms and textile samples with information about the dress at the time.
The main floor also has a lovely little gift shop with a good variety of souvenirs.
The staff was friendly and helpful. A most wonderful trip!
Learn more about the Jackson Homestead or set up your own field trip by visiting http://www.historicnewton.org/ .