Tomorrow Center Historical Project wins praise from community, students and staff

Story and Photos by Alberta Stojkovic

April 29, 2014

Edison Tomorrow Center students took a trip back in time last week with an afternoon program that featured songs, storytelling, displays, old time recipes and square dancing.

Tomorrow Center Director Karen Seckel said the idea for the historical program started as a cooperative effort with the Gleaners’ Association and the Tomorrow Center that is in the Edison School Building. The original part of the building was built in 1882. The school staff, students and community then got involved in researching the life and times in the 1880’s to 1900.

Students were given various research topic suggestions, and were allowed to pick a topic, research the topic and decide how they wanted to showcase what they learned. As a result, student projects covered a wide range from the history of agriculture to Jack the Ripper. They made posters, wrote dramas, and found songs and music from the late 1800’s.

At the beginning of the program, local historian and retired teacher Phylis Miller gave the history of the school that started with a log cabin in 1825. The log cabin was outgrown and a one room frame school building was built in the location that is now Tidy Tim’s car wash. The town was called Levering Station until 1882 because of the train station there. It was named after a prominent citizen in the community. They later found out there was another Levering Station post office somewhere so the name was changed to Edison in honor of Thomas Edison who was well known for his inventions at the time.

Family and Civic Coordinator, Susie Sexton emceed the program that included a Readers’ Theater on the History of Baseball with Mr. Strasser, Mr. Smith, Mr. White, Lyle Huggins, Jordan Connor and Isaiah Hill. Student, Brooke Mash astonished the audience with her beautiful a cappella singing of “Shenandoah” and “Down to the River to Pray.” Trevor Louderback performed “Dixie” on the guitar and the Square Dancers had the audience clapping with several tunes. The program concluded with “America the Beautiful” with Evan Fox on the Guitar and “The Yellow Rose of Texas” performed by the school staff.

After the program, Edison resident Rita Barton commented that she was pleased to see the talent and work that students showed throughout the program. Sheila Beck of Johnsville was pleased to see the effort that J.J. Nava put into his display on the history of the Edison School building. J.J. commented that it was very interesting to compare how things were done in the past with how they are today.

The Tomorrow Center thanks the following for their contribution to the program: Phylis Miller, Marilyn Weiler, Jill Grubb, Mark Cory, Keri Stillion, Cheryl Hagerty, Winnie Brewer, Amy Hess, Monica Hess, Rose Richards, John Cunningham, The Gleaners Assoc., Mount Gilead State Park and Marion City Schools.