A turn-of-the-century mountain homestead site lies across the creek behind the school, on school property. Thus far, a smokehouse has been completed, and a cabin is in progress. A garden area has also been established, and apple trees and grapevines have been planted. Students harvest fruits and vegetables and learn to can soup and preserves.
The homestead is expected to take several years to complete, with the work done by students, faculty, staff, and community members. In the process of creating the homestead, students learn many traditional skills used by the settlers in construction and maintenance.
Along with the smokehouse and cabin, the homestead plans include a grist mill, a root cellar, a wood shed, an orchard, the homestead garden, and other necessities found on a mountain farm. Once complete, the facilities will serve as an outdoor living history classroom, a setting for music and storytelling events, and a tourist attraction during the Indian Summer Festival.
Local Studies Mountain MarkeT
For each annual Indian Summer Festival, the Local Studies class prepares homemade fried apple pies, wild fox grape and Concord grape jellies, strawberry jam, and apple butter. Money raised at the Mountain Market helps to fund the Mountain Heritage Program.
Because we know that students learn by doing, students engage in hands-on learning throughout their educations. They design, they build, they investigate, they present, they grow together.