At WVU Jackson’s Mill, our history educators and artisans provide a unique learning environment for everyone from experienced historians to curious youth by guiding participants through engaging demonstrations and hands-on activities. After a day in our historic area, you’ll not only gain knowledge about what life was like for western Virginians in the mid-1800s, but you can also take home a candle you’ve hand-dipped, paper you’ve marbled, or a colorful, hand-made rope bracelet.
Customized learning for K-12 students
Visits can be customized for grades K-12. Programs may include both a demonstration
and hands-on participation.
Jackson’s Mill tells us a unique story about the earliest days of western Virginia,
how we became the state of West Virginia, and how this location became the
ideal spot for a State 4-H Camp and the wonderful rich story we’ve had over
the past hundred years.” Joe Obidzinski - WVU Jackson's Mill
Program Coordinator - History and Heritage
Curriculum standards support class learning requirements
Classes and activities range from approximately 30 to 60 minutes depending on the chosen topic.
Gristmill (Grades K-12)
Participants will watch a demonstration and get hands-on experience running a water-powered gristmill with Blaker's Mill here at WVU Jackson's Mill. The importance of gristmilling to life in West Virginia and its significance in WVU Jackson's Mill history will also be highlighted.
Participants will see a blacksmith shop in action while a historian demonstrates
the various skills and tools used in the process and highlights its importance
to West Virginia and WVU Jackson's Mill history.
Candle Dipping (Grades K-12)
Using an electric pot and melted wax, participants will use a length of string to make hand-dipped candles.
Students will use a hand crank, tabletop rope machine to make their own small piece of twisted cotton rope roughly the size of a bracelet.
Food-ways/Butter Making (Grades K-12)
Preserved food samples are used to demonstrate the importance of various foods and food preservation types early settlers used. Participants will also use small glass jars to make their own butter.
Students will watch a demonstration of paper marbling and be able to attempt the rarely used art form themselves.Toys And Games (Grades K-12)
Using replica toys and a variety of household items, participants will try their hand at old-fashioned games and learn how people entertained themselves. The similarities and differences between old and modern activities will also be highlighted.
View our History Education Program Content Standards. To make a reservation, contact WVU Jackson’s Mill Group Reservations at 304-269-5100.