Heritage Village hosts school groups in the spring and the fall. Costumed docent educators act out what it would have been like to attend a one room school house in the late 1800’s in Mackinaw City at our Freedom School. Children learn about spelling bees, and elocution lessons, they sit at school house desks and experience what it would have been like to have several grades in one room.
Children go from the one room school house to the Pestilence House or Pest House. Many communities established a Pest House to care for travelers who fell ill while travelling. Diseases such as diphtheria, the common flu, and cholera were prevalent among those arriving by train and boat to the Mackinaw area. The Pest or Pestilence House was the forerunner to our modern day hospitals.
After their visit to the Pest House, the children play games of the times in teams. Following the old time games, the children take a tour of the entire village including the log house, the replica of a Mackinaw City homestead, a wigwam, an 1880’s church, a covered eating area, and finally a sawmill used to cut the timbers for the Soo Locks. Children, teachers and parents experience the years of great change what it might have been like to live without electricity, planes, or automobiles.
Bring your students to Heritage Village. We offer half- and full-day programs during which costumed docents interpret our facilities. Our buildings are heated with wood-burning stoves and we have modern outhouses. Electricity can be provided and we have a well. Cost for either program is $5 per student; chaperones visit free. Fifty percent of the cost must be submitted with the application.
Hear more about Freedom School and Starting School below.
Half- and Full-Day Visits
Sample Half-day Schedule
Times can change based on your transportation needs.
9:00 a.m. Opening ceremony at flag pole
9:05 - 9:30 Pestilence house interpretation
9:35 - 10:00 Freedom school interpretation
10:05 - 10:30 Historic games or nature hike
10:35 - 11:00 Spelling bee
11:30 - 11:35 Closing ceremony
With the half-day option we provide docents for all the above activities.
With the full-day option, our docents give 25-minute interpretations of both the school and the pestilence house.
You may use our facilities for the remainder of the day for your own program.