The Victor 4th graders went on an art/social studies field trip to three sites on May 10th. We began the day at Traveler's Rest State Park in Lolo and encountered some replica artifacts used by the Corps of Discovery and Salish replica artifacts. Students had fun matching descriptions with the physical items and looking at traps, skins, and tools.
Our next stop was Historic St. Mary's Mission and Museum in Stevensville. St. Mary's church was built to last in 1866, although the site was inhabited a good 20 years before that. It contained a beautiful wooden statue of Mary hand-carved by Father Ravalli. Students explored the Catholic Salish encampment and stepped inside the Jesuit buildings, as well as Chief Victor's cabin. They roamed the grounds and cemetery and discovered a 150-year-old apple tree, as well as a new dig site where they could see the top of a cast-iron stove!
After lunch and recess at Lewis and Clark Park, students headed over to Fort Owen State Park, nearby to look over the very first site of Montana's earliest non-native settlement which once had a sawmill, grist mill, agriculture, water rights, and a school. The fort was purchased in 1850 by Major John Owen and his Shoshone wife, Nancy Owen. It was a popular trading post serving Native and non-Native alike. Students enjoyed seeing the 150+-year-old east barracks walls and looked at another dig site where archeologists found bottles, animal bones, and a long mysterious tooth. Students made their own adobe bricks using local clay, sand, and water. Even though students really got their hands in the mixture, tools were provided to mix and smooth the adobe into the ladder brick molds. Special thanks to the great folks at Traveler's Rest, Historic St, Mary's Mission and Museum, and Fort Owen State Park! Our students had a great day!