I started teaching in 1977/78 in fourth grade (Fran Kelsey's sabbatical) and was introduced to the Colonial House. Being an animal kind of person, I thought that having a place to house animals was a natural extension. And, sheep was my choice since I had experience raising sheep. I had talked the last school I taught at into building an enclosure and one year we had sheep and one
year we had cattle. I turned down an offer to have a baby giraffe...another story. Willy Black, art teacher and the keeper of the Colonial House, was amenable.
My class drew up plans. I forget how we got the materials (probably the PTO) and we built the lean-to with Willy's help during school time using a lot of math, measuring, fine and gross motor, esprit do corps, etc.. The PTO was generous enough to pay for fencing and so one weekend Jennifer. (fifth grade teacher), her husband Richard Decker and I put it up. (Not a particularly easy
time). I got Buffalo (a black ram) from a couple (the Swazey's) in VT and that was the start of housing sheep. He was later joined by Daisy and then Dandelion. I kept them at my parent's farm in the summer, at school in the fall and spring and at the Chamberlain's in Etna in the winter. My classes...4th (1 year) fifth (5 years) pre-first (1 year) etc. took care of them while on site. They then became welcome visitors during Colonial Days.
Cynthia Hayes Retired teacher June, 2008