Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Boxcar Children Museum

{you can see the roof of the school, where Warner taught, from the Boxcar}

{Pieter and Juliana with Mary Ellen Ellsworth,
author of Gertrude Chandler Warner and The Boxcar}

{we're thinking of you, Papa!}
{Aunt Debbie and Lucia}

Last year we read The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner as part of Pieter's homeschooling curriculum. I recalled reading it as a child, but didn't remember it much. Well, the kids loved it so much, I found a box of 42 Boxcar Children books on eBay. They burned through those in 4 months with Papa reading them three chapters every night before bed. I was looking at one of the books one day and saw in the back that Warner was from Putnam, Connecticut. What a surprise! That is where I was born and my family lived in Eastford, CT until I was ten. I couldn't ever remember talking about the author as a child. I did some looking online and saw there was a Boxcar Museum in Putnam, so I put that on our to do list for our visit. There was much excitement from the kids for this visit. It was small, but lots of fun. As soon as the kids walked up to the Boxcar they saw wooden silhouettes and started exclaiming who each character was from the book. And inside the Boxcar there were so many things from all the books that they knew about right away. Everything from Benny's pink cup to the blueberries for dinner. And by coincidence, Mary Ellen Ellsworth came by and had a copy of her biography of Warner, Gertrude Chandler Warner and The Boxcar. I bought a copy and she signed it for us. So awesome! I remember the Ellsworth family from my younger years in Eastford, so it was fun to make this full circle connection. And I found a lot of goodies for Christmas - pencils, mugs, posters, bookmarks and a sock-kit to make a stuffy just like Benny's. When we were done we decided to get coffee in town and found Ben's Beans. And they even sold mugs with their name on it - perfect for Papa. It was a great day.

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