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Lorain Historical Society opens children's room


LORAIN — The Lorain Historical Society unveiled a new room for children Sunday afternoon that allows kids to see history and interact with it.

The Children’s History Room in the Carnegie Center, which aims to teach children about Lorain’s industrial history, and includes two interactive, working models of the Charles Berry bascule bridge and the Paul R. Tregurtha ore ship. The open house attracted about a hundred guests.

Barb Piscopo, executive director of the Lorain Historical Society, said the room had been planned for nearly five years. Now that it’s finally here, Piscopo said, it feels great to have it.

“It was important to everyone on the committee that children really have a place where they can learn about their history but also have a place where they can engage and have a place in the museum that would be fun for them,” she said.

The Charles Berry Bridge in Lorain is the second-largest bascule bridge in the world, built in 1939 and dedicated in 1940. A bascule bridge is a moveable bridge that swings upward to provide clearance for boat traffic. The model allows children to move the bridge and blow whistles.

The freighter Paul R. Tregurtha, also known as “Queen of the Lakes,” is the largest vessel on the Great Lakes at more than 1,000 feet. Launched in 1981 at Lorain, the vessel still operates today. The model allows children to inspect the hull of the freighter, work the crane, toot the horn, ring the bell, control the speed and operate the bow thrusters like a real ore freighter.

In addition to the models, children also can play with a map of the Great Lakes behind the ship to move magnetic boats along different routes. Piscopo said the program and the room would not be possible without contributions from the Stocker Foundation and the Community Foundation of Lorain County.

The room, which will not be open until May, is designed for children ages 3-8 and will be used to host groups of learners from pre-K through third grade. It will be open to area schools, summer camp programs and local preschool programs in June and July. For more information on these opportunities, contact the Lorain Historical Society at (440) 245-2563 or email info@lorainhistory.org.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BruceWalton.

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