The Explorer Friend Program
Children of today are learning about the lives of yesterday’s children through a unique new program at Historic Rosedale. Three actual children from the 1840’s are introduced to today’s young visitors during the site’s Plantation Children’s Tour. Today’s children, through the use of hand made cloth dolls, find it easy to picture the lives of Sarah Jane, Willie and Rena.
Willy is the 11-year-old son of Dr. & Mrs. Caldwell. He hopes to become a doctor like his father and is very interested in plants and animals. Willy often goes with his father when he visits the sick.
Sarah Jane is the 8-year-old daughter of Dr. & Mrs. Caldwell. She is an excellent student who loves to read and play the piano. She works very hard at her lessons with the tutor, Miss Frew, and enjoys drawing.
Rena the 10-year-old slave child is the daughter of Ben the carriage driver and Jenny the cook of the Caldwell Plantation. Rena helps her mother with the preparation of food. They prepare food for 35 people, three times each day in the kitchen in the basement of the plantation house.
These children are based on known facts about documented individuals of the Caldwell plantation. Rosedale is fortunate to have Dr. D. T. Caldwell’s plantation records and the Journal of Sarah Frew Davidson, which paint a realistic picture of life on a NC plantation in the early 1800’s. Willy did indeed become a doctor, just like his father. Drawings and paintings done by the young Sarah Jane still exist, and Rena lived as a child on the plantation with her parents whose jobs are accurately portrayed
Through a recently developed program entitled Explorer Friends, young visitors to Rosedale can purchase a fold up portrait of one of the young resident of the plantation from the 1840’s. These Explorer Friends accompany visitors home to learn about life in the year 2005. After visiting with the child for a while, he/she is asked to help their friend write a letter about their adventure discovering objects, ideas and customs that have changed since 1840. We hope your child will extend their learning experience by viewing their life in the 21st century through the eyes of their 19th century Explorer Friend.
Explorer Friends packets are available through our online shop or on site at Rosedale.
Treasure Tree Leaf Hunt
Visit Historic Rosedale and join in our Treasure Tree Leaf Hunt! Rosedale has six trees on the property designated by the state or county as historic treasures. Follow the directions in the Treasure Hunt Booklet ($1.00) to find and identify these trees and learn about why they are so special.
MHA Passport to History
With Mecklenburg Historical Association's Passport to History you can visit and learn about historic sites throughout our area. Booklets, designed especially for elementary school age children, are available at Rosedale (as well as other historic sites you'll visit) for just $4.00. Visit the sites, complete a learning sheet on each and you'll earn a special patch for your book bag.