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Forest Hills kids learn about local history

Elementary children tour Old Town Lake Oswego

Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Kerry Hinrichs talks about the Native Americans who once inhabited the area.Forest Hills Elementary School fourth-grader Luke Hogan stood near the corner of Wilbur and Durham streets and said, “I never knew all that was there.”

Snug in the Old Town neighborhood, historic homes were all around Luke. He’d just visited the home that the late Lake Oswego City Councilor George Rogers built in 1929. Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Fourth-grader Weston Schmidt examines an arrowhead that resembles one created by local tribes.More than 160 Forest Hills third- and fourth-graders participated in parent volunteer-led tours last week to learn about the Native Americans who once lived here, the iron-making process of the now-gone Oregon Iron Company and some of the major settlers, including Rogers and town founder Albert Durham.

Throughout the neighborhood, parent volunteers in period dress offered history lessons at key sites, including the house where Luke had his realization. Other kids also were making discoveries about their town and their surroundings.

“I never knew Grandma lived so close to a famous house,” fourth-grader Rachel Williams said.

Fourth-grader Ethan Park was surprised to see so much history all around him. “I never noticed so many signs,” he said.

There were plaques outside of the George Rogers house and at several other sites, offering more details about the town’s past.

“I think they’re definitely learning a lot, and learning more about the town they live in is a great thing,” said Kathy Jones, one of the parent volunteers.Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Forest Hills parent Kim Rigney explains to Charlie Mattoon how iron was produced in the furnace.

Parent volunteer Sara Dunzelaud wore pants tucked into boots, a hat and a flowing shirt while teaching the children about the Rogers home. Although many of them were confused when she explained that it was the family home of the man for whom George Rogers Park is named.

“Are there people living in there?” asked Ethan Baker, a third-grader. When Dunzelaud explained that Rogers’ family — his descendants — live in the house, the children seemd a bit puzzled.

“His family lives there, so they didn’t die yet?” third-grader Sienna Collins asked.

“No, no,” Dunzelaud told the children. “His grandkids had grandkids, so new kids were born, like you, you’re all new.”

A few of the children nodded, some gazed thoughtfully at the house or its cobblestone driveway and the rest looked on to the next stop.

By Jillian Daley
503-636-1281, ext. 109
email: jdaley@lakeoswegoreview.com
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