Thursday, June 30, 2016

Five Bay Area History Hotspots for Kids

Living in the Bay Area provides a plethora of destinations to learn about history. Learning about the past can be an exciting adventure for children, providing fodder for their active imaginations. Take time this summer, while the children are off of school to visit one or all of these historical places.

1. Drawbridge GhostTown
Drawbridge is the San Francisco Bay Area's only ghost town. Originally a hunting village, it became a true ghost town in 1979 and is sinking into the marshlands. The only path that leads into Drawbridge is an abandoned railroad track, which is somewhat dangerous and means possible falling into waist-deep marsh for those who attempt the trip. At one time 10 passenger trains stopped in Drawbridge every day, and the one small cabin was for the operator of the railroad's two drawbridges, which were removed long ago.

2. Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
The Essanay Studios was the earliest home of California's motion picture industry. This is where Broncho Billy and Charlie Chaplin made silent films between 1912 and 1916 -- remember Chaplin’s “The Tramp”? The non-profit museum is in the century-old Nickelodeon Edison Theater. Every Saturday evening there are screenings of those early films, many of which were done locally.

3. Ardenwood Historic Farm
Opened to the public on July 28, 1985, the park includes a large forest, what is still a working farm producing vegetables and wheat and a large pumpkin patch in the Fall, and a mansion which was first constructed in 1857 by George Washington Patterson. He called the estate "Ardenwood" after England’s forested area described in Shakespeare's As You Like It. One large Queen Anne Victorian section was added in 1889. In 1915, a remodel of the old farm house added a kitchen with a large bedroom above it, a sun porch, a nursery, and a bathroom that had indoor plumbing.

The park’s Railroad Museum operates the recreation of a narrow gauge horse-drawn railway and has a collection of railroad cars and other artifacts.

The park hosts many events including a celebration on Independence Day, an antique fair on the last Sunday every August, a Railroad Fair on Labor Day, a Harvest Festival in October, numerous Halloween celebrations complete with a haunted railroad, and more.

4. Mayhew's Sulphur Spring
This is located 600 feet north of the Niles railroad depot. In September 1869, a short four months after the famous Promontory Summit, Utah, golden spike ceremony, the Central Pacific Railroad was able to complete the long-awaited transcontinental link between the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento and finished the track through the nearby Niles Canyon.

5. Mission San Jose in Fremont
One of the oldest of the California historic Spanish missions, the church building is a re-construction dedicated in 1985 of the adobe church of 1809 that unfortunately was destroyed in the Hayward-fault earthquake of 1868. The original quadrangle had one side that remains and is a museum.

Schedule a tour at 
The Montessori School in Newark applies the educational philosophy and methods of Maria Montessori, M.D., a renowned Italian physician and child educator. The Montessori concept of education allows children to experience the joy of learning at an early age.  To learn more about our Montessori Primary and Kindergarten program contact us to schedule a tour.

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