Kevin Stonerock as Jacob McClendon puts his blanket coat on David Phillips, a fifth grade student at South Whitley Elementary School. â€” Post & Mail photo / Robin R. Plasterer
SOUTH WHITLEY â€” History came alive for fifth-grade students at South Whitley Elementary School earlier this week.
Kevin Stonerock gave the students a living history lesson.
Stonerock hails from central Indiana and has given more than 3,000 presentations since 1978.
Dressed in authentic period clothing, he had a high degree of historic authenticity with attention to detail and dialect.
The students studied the mid-1700s in their history classes.
â€śThey studied the first contacts between Native American groups and the Europeans, which were basically the French and the British in Indiana,â€ť said fifth-grade teacher Terrill Brown.
â€śThe European traders found one way to make money was to trade things the Native Americans wanted â€” iron, cooking pots, cloth, wool blankets, guns and steel axes for example,â€ť Brown said.
â€śIt made some aspects of the Native American life easier but also introduced diseases and caused a disruption in the traditional way Native Americans governed themselves and the social aspects of dealing with others.
â€śAfter the Native Americans were conquered and later removed from Indiana, settlers would trap animals during the winter and sell the furs for extra income.â€ť
Stonerock entered the classroom portraying Jacob McClendon, a Scottish fur trader that left his country to move to France.
In a thick Scottish brogue, he told the students he was a young man needing a job.
â€śI worked as a merchant in the New France. Do you know where that is?â€ť asked McClendon (Stonerock).
The pupils did know that it was Canada.