The past two weekends my Elvis Puppet and I have been attending local events. I always joke this is my annual “public awareness trek” in remembrance of Elvis. Why would I say that? Well, to my shock only 1 in 25 kids knows who Elvis is. Impossible you say? I swear on my “Love Me Tender” heart this is a fact.
So what does that say about the younger generation knowing about our local history? Once upon a time, teachers agreed that local history should be in the curriculum, but no one could agree on how it should be taught or why. The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum used to be invited into the local schools, but that is a moot point now. Apparently, there is no more time in their schedules for such information now.
Usually teachers in history and social studies classes focus on national or international events. But what about the history of the neighborhood where the students live? When kids are encouraged to learn about where they live, maybe they can perhaps link their community to a larger event. Hopefully, they begin to see they are part of a larger story and that they personally make history every single day.
“I’m only interested in the recent facts- that is what concerns me. I don’t want to know about the stuff that happened 100 years ago.”
What people do not realize is that ancient history as they call it, has a value in itself for a personal, family and community perspective. Our local history is the story of where we all live. It deals with the people and events we know best. After writing about the history of the Carleton Place area for awhile; I can tell you it goes way beyond our beloved WWII hero Roy Brown.
Actually, if you think about it, it could give all of us a better sense of realism. Why? Because the major body of local history pertains to the students’ own surroundings. Our Carleton Place youth can physically go out and see where the Findlay plant was, the first mills of our area, and even drop in, buy a cookie, and say hello to Lorne Hart at The Old Towne Bakery. Not for the kids, you say? As much as people refuse to admit it- he is a pioneer in today’s craft beer, and is already in the “history of beverage” books. The bottles of Hart Beer are already considered artifacts at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.
We sometimes have a tendency to tear down the roots of our area – almost as soon as we have put them down. If schools studied more local history, that might encourage a little preservation, and make us aware of our own links to the past. One should remember that each time we speak about local history, we are training future citizens. We seriously need to encourage everyone to learn the history that just happened outside our door. You never know– to some, the knowledge could become a “burning love of interest”.
“History happens to all of us all the time. Local history brings history home, it touches your life, the life of your family, your neighborhood, your community.” —
Join us on our next tour “Smoke on the Water” The Fires of Carleton Place next week with treats after at Ballygiblins.
Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place