Eighth graders hunt for history at open house
Northwestern Lehigh Middle School eighth graders received lists of items to find in the old bank building museum during the Lynn Heidelberg Historical Society’s annual Christmas open house in New Tripoli.
When they found something on their list, the students were to listen to the docent’s explanation and then ask a question.
At that point, the docent would stamp their paper. One visit to a display was required but many of the students collected more.
The papers were then given to Jim Warfel who helped them put an official bank stamp on it.
The stamp was similar to a notary’s proving a document is legal.
Warfel was also helping visitors to the Dec. 2 open house use a machine that doled out change.
They were to collect 89 cents in change and return it to the machine for the next person.
Craig Weaver, who is instrumental in restoring the Ontelaunee Park train, spent four hours setting up his G model trains at the old bank, now home to the historical society’s museum.
He said the hardest part was leveling everything because the ground has a slight slope. A small circular track featured a single car whizzing around delivering presents within the larger garden size track.
When the Belsnickel, the Pa. German Santa Claus, visited with the eighth graders, they were expected to either tell him what they learned in school or sing a song. Their favorite song was “Jingle Bells.”
Justin Arifaj told visitor Ontelaunee Park had swim suits to rent. After they were returned, the next person would rent them still wet from the previous person. Arifaj pointed out the large pool at the park was dug with the use of horses.
He also told those gathered around him the graduation certificates on display were important because not many students graduated high school as they had to work at a young age to help their families.
Willard Snyder was in the old bank vault where he told visitors about the emergency breathing apparatus if someone would get accidentally locked in.
He also discussed the money that used to be printed locally.
In the boardroom, there was a huge table filled with cookies, candies, veggies and punch.
Over the table was the large check given to the Leaser Lake restoration project when it received $4,800,000 from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the work.
The check, dated Sept. 28, 2006, was signed by former Gov. Edward G. Rendell.