Would-be Sherlock Holmeses and Miss Marples are invited to hone their deductive skills while learning about family history by visiting a current exhibit at the Museum of Church History and Art.
"Clues to the Past: a Family History Mystery" draws from a collection of family artifacts, documents, photographs and maps to tell the story of the migration of the Edward and Mary Bowman Patterson family from England to Bear Lake County, Idaho, in the 19th Century.The exhibit, scheduled to run through May 31, is designed for children ages 9-15 to help them learn how history is written from various sources.
"Historians have all the fun with history," commented Jennifer Lund, associate museum educator. "This exhibit gives the kids a chance to experience history themselves, to do the discovering, and actually have fun in the process."
Family history was selected as the theme, Sister Lund said, because children already understand families, and family history is the avenue by which many people become interested in history generally.
"History in essence is a mystery," she explained, "and this exhibit is laid out very overtly. A cartoon character, Sherlock Fox, helps lead the visitors from panel to panel. In the process, they find clues that help them discover the names of the parents, how they came to America, and details about the family and their occupations."
Upon leaving, visitors may take with them a printed handout, "Solve Your Own Family History Mystery." It includes a blank, four-generation pedigree chart they can fill out with the names of their own ancestors. Also featured in the handout are tips on how to learn more about one's family history.