The school bell is still ringing at the 1902 one room Semmes School, an Alabama Landmark as the oldest continuous in use school in the state of Alabama,
Children on field trips time travel to 1902 to experience a hands on history lesson in reading writing and arithmetic, and learn of life in the olden days when children had chores to do before and after school. It was good to work, because that was just the way life was.
The first thing you did when you got up was to run outside to the outhouse. Then before breakfast you did your morning chores. You had eggs to gather, chickens to feed and water. The cow had to be milked. To get water you had to pump water and carry it in a bucket to where it was needed. When you were done with your chores you had breakfast and got ready for school. You walked to school or rode in a wagon, but mostly you walked. When you got home from school you had chores to do all over again.
Children on field trips experience pumping water. washing clothes on a rub board, looking in a outhouse. (modern restrooms are in the chapel) A peak in the cabin reveals a rope bed and items from yesteryear's and how it must to have been to live in a one room cabin.
Demonstrations of the comparison of simple tools to modern day tools are observed. A hand power grist mill shows the making of grits, corn meal and biddy feed.
It is always amazing when we come to the end of the day and I tell the children we have to time travel back to the current year at the outcry of NO, I want to stay here!
Even in today's modern technology there is something to be said about the olden day ways of learning, It is interesting to note that many tried and true old education concepts are being once again revisited. New methods are not always better. Sometimes, as the old saying goes "We have thrown the baby out with the bathwater."
Dr. Brenda Litchfield, IS the GUEST speaker at the Semmes Camellia Festival this year . She will be speaking at 1 p.m. on the Camellia. Dr. Litchfield is the co- author of "Camellia Garden Field Guide."
Artist Yuka Miller will demonstrate "How to Make Paper Camellias" at 10:30.
Open House at Semmes Heritage Park -3871 Wulff Rd. January 28th 11 AM til 1:30PM
Semmes Heritage Park consist of the original one room 1902 Semmes School, an Alabama Landmark, the Malone Chapel, a replica of the 1902 Mt. Pleasant Church, and a log cabin replica. Mt. Pleasant Church is known today as Semmes First Baptist.
The first school in Semmes was a log cabin that was the located on the 16th section of land close to were MGM High School is today. This log cabin was also the church.
Other points of interest- Semmes Honors Park honoring our veterans, across the street from Semmes First Baptist, and the Semmes Camellia Park. The Camellia Park is a small new City Park, planted with Camellias located on Illinois street.
See JoAnne Mcknights Home Blog. for more photo's of past tablescapes.
As a community event we welcome Camellia Blooms from home gardens and Camellia Tablescapes. Contact Chair Alice Baker for info. and to register (251) 753-3423. There is no fee . to display.
No entrance fee is charged as this event is sponsored by Semmes Heritage Park .
"When Camellias were first introduced from China to Europe, common varieties were expensive plants 100 to 150 years ago.
Sale recorded in old books, reveal small Camellia plants fetching as much as $180.00 to
6 000 francs.
In fact, Camellias of "yesteryear" were truly the aristocrats of winter-flowering plants. They were owned by people of wealth, culture and refinement."
The Beginning of Nursery Business in Semmes.
T. Kiyono came from Japan in 1917 started the first nursery in Semmes growing citrus fruits . He was very successful and soon new nurseries began to appear.
A series of freezes in the 1930 brought the growing of citrus fruit to a halt and the beginning of growing Azaleas and Camellias.
T. Kiyono was in Japan when the war with Japan began. The U.S Government took over the property and later Mr. Clint McDade brought the property. Mr. Stevens managed the operations for Mr. McDade. The nursery grew. New nurseries were started by other nurserymen.
Mobile Press-Nov. 28, 1948-Mrs. H..M. Jarvis-"Spurred into expanded operations by heavy demand for its products in recent years, this Mobile County Community is now telling the world it is "the center of the Camellia and Azalea Industry of the United States.".......more azaleas and camellias are grown and shipped from Semmes than any one point.."
Did you know that the Camellia is the tea plant and that there is a tea plantation in Fairhope? Donnie Barrett, the owner of the Fairhope Tea Plantation was the guest speaker in 2016.
Donnie Barrett-2016 Camellia Festival
2016 Semmes Camellia Festival- Photos by Raymond Byrd.
Camellias from your home garden and Camellia Floral Arrangement are welcome!
Contact Alice Baker 251-753-3423
Preserving our History!