Published: June 20, 2014
Every year the 4th graders walk between 3 and 4 miles to visit Bellevue's historical sites. This happened on Monday, May 19th. Pulling wagons and sharing the task of "wagon master", students traveled the sidewalks of Mission Street towards the old bank building located on East Mission Street. Our history expert/guide met us at several locations with the bank being our first stop.
Next, we pulled our wagons, loaded down with our lunches north to the old log cabin once inhabited by Mrs. Mountain. With no indoor plumbing or modern conveniences the students saw first hand what it was like to live in such small quarters. Even the attic was a bit scary for the students as they climbed the narrow, curved steps up and down.
Heading southwest our wagons were parked at Washington Park's gazebo before heading over to the Old Towne Presbyterian Church. Hearing its history, including how the NETV movie of "Standing Bear" was partially filmed within its walls brought to life the significance of our town's early ministers and their missions.
After ringing its bells we traveled north again to the Bellevue Cemetery where we prayed over a grave of a pioneer child and paid our respects to Big Elk and a member of our parish whose remains were laid to rest with Fr. Mark presiding. All were silent upon hearing taps.
Refreshed by cool bottles of water we continued our journey back to Washington Park where everyone enjoyed lunch and recess including parents who volunteered to walk with us.
After sharing the park with students of nearby Bertha Barber, St. Mary's 4th graders headed back up Mission Avenue with their wagons in tow. Our final destination was the Columban Fathers. After praying a Hail Mary at their grotto, Frans Lang became our tour guides showing us the many worldwide artifacts collected over the years by the Columban Fathers. Before going back to school, we walked a few steps more up to the chapel where once again Mrs. Lang spoke of its various altars honoring different saints important in the history of the Columban Fathers.
Thanks to Mrs. Lucia, who had ice cream treats waiting for us upon returning to our classroom seats.
Though our walking field trip was long, we were blessed with beautiful weather and good companionship knowing that soon our 4th grade adventure would be ending. I reminded the students often of the few miles we walked in our day's journey ...comparing its length to that of the real pioneers who once walked the land we call La Belle Vue. For more photos click here.
Mrs. Feagan, 4th grade teacher