Fourth-Grade Museum Curators 

Fairmount School fourth graders walked over to the Bangor Museum and History Center Thursday with an important job to do.”We really worked hard on this. It was really hard to get this together, in like a month,” says fourth-grader Christopher Chasse. He and 21 other students were guest curators for the museum. “Southern doctors gave their malaria patients tincture of dogwood,” reads one student from her project.Last month, these students picked an artifact they liked at the Thomas Hill Historic House and Civil War Museum, and started reading all about it.”Book after book after book after book,” Chasse says.”The curator in many museums is the one who takes the collection of the museum and tells a story,” says Bangor Museum Curator Dana Lippitt.The stories these guest curators told Thursday took lots of research, and took them back in time in history.”I learned about Johnny Clem. He’s a famous drummer from the Civil War,” says one student.”I learned about a cutlass, which is like a sword. It’s pretty awesome,” says another.The students’ research will be on display all summer – from a cast of Lincoln’s hand to the enlisted men’s boots.”No, they were not good in wet conditions,” Chasse says, of the boots. “Very terrible.””Through this project the students learned history and civics, reading and writing and public speaking,” says their teacher, Jean Schmick. She and Lippitt designed the project to teach local history and public service, made even more fun when ghost stories are involved. “Samuel haunts the house today,” says one student. “He was the mayor of Bangor from 1863 to 1865.””It’s just a good learning experience,” Chasse says.