Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Impromptu Homeschooling Field Trip

I took the kids to Kansas City this morning.

Tater dropped off donations for homeless veterans from her American Heritage Girls Troop. We had the honor of dropping off the donations because her mother runs the troop.

On the way home we found the Union Hill Cemetery.  After the cholera epidemic of 1849 filled the cemeteries of the towns of Westport, Missouri, and Kansas, Missouri, a new cemetery was needed.  In 1857, 49 acres of land was donated for a new cemetery.  That was the start of Union Hill.  There are lots of old and interesting graves in this cemetery.  I liked the gravestones shaped like tree stumps.  

I enjoyed the Chinese gravestone, which apparently is rare for a 19th century cemetery. 
According to the cemetery’s brochure, deceased Chinese immigrants were usually shipped back to China to be buried with their ancestors.  We stopped at a Chinese restaurant for lunch and I asked the hostess if she could translate for me, but despite all the conversation she held in Chinese with her husband, all she could say to me was, “I don’t know.”
The interesting surprise of this visit was discovering the grave of James Silas Calhoun, the first Territorial Governor of New Mexico.  How he went from a guy who served as a Colonel in the Mexican War to a territorial governor to dead on the Santa Fe Trail and buried in the town of Kansas, Missouri, is anyone’s guess. 
Eventually, the town of Kansas, Missouri, became the town of Kansas City, Missouri, and annexed the town of Westport, which is now a neighborhood.
We missed one tombstone that we’ll have to return to see (and we drove right past it!).  There’s a grave for Joseph Boggs, a man who was born in 1749, served in the Revolutionary War militia, and died in 1843.  Pretty cool.    
We also saw tent city, also known as Kansas City’s Occupy Wall Street.

It’s located in a park across from the Federal Reserve.    The group is smaller than it was a week ago.  They don’t do much, but the American flags are new. 

The kids got to see protest in action and learn about the freedom to assemble when you should be searching for a job. 
These things happen when you chuck your school work and head off on an impromptu homeschooling field trip.

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