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           I think The First Mayor's House is really fun and educational.  I think it was fun to learn what boys and girls had in there pockets in the olden days.  I can't believe boys got to carry a pocketknife to school and no one cared.  I like how we got to try the tools and we got to see what they are.  My nana has a coffee grinder like that and I used it to make coffee for them.  It is interesting that in the story of the barley doll that grains expand. I have never seen a grain expand before. If it did it would be cool.  Sarah and I.J.'s bedroom is pretty cool.  It is neat that I. J. took the trunk everywhere.  The chamber pot is a little weird to me and the bell has a pretty sound and the collar is cool because you can wear it over and over again.  If I lived back then I would use the chamber pot if it was night time, but we don't have to because we have toilets in our houses.

           It was really fun doing the chores like, washing socks on a washboard and making butter.  I thought the butter was delicious.  I wanted to make butter with my mom because we love to cook.  The Medicinal Garden was educational because we all got to learn how the Harvey family lived and had to take care of each other when they are sick.  I used the soap wart because I was itchy.   for letting me come to the First mayor's House.  I want to come back with my family to show them around.  Sincerely,  Charlotte Morrow

A student's take on Salinas history.



Spreckels Elementary School has been attending The First Mayor’s House for three years. To date, approximately 300 Spreckels students have experienced an enriched opportunity to travel back in time to discover Salinas history. Each third grader participated in unique hands-on lessons aligned to CCSS for ELA and history during their visit the First Mayor’s House. Our scholars specifically enjoyed completing the chores of the olden days such as washing socks on a washboard and churning butter. They viewed and played with toys and games that children used hundreds of years ago. The docents skillfully guided small groups, taught local history, shared artifacts, and led scholars to draw relationships between the past and the present. In particular, students considered the medicine garden vs. the modern pharmacy; and the differences and similarities between cooking and garden tools. All students, parents, and educators left impressed and enriched as a result of the two hour visit to the house,

Teacher Institute reviews: 

"This workshop series has provided some very valuable lessons that are easy to integrate in the classroom right away. Will use as Common Core lessons using GLAD strategies. It has already changed my way of using social studies (and science) instead of state adopted LA series."

"Excitement and creativity have returned to teaching."

"I will continue to teach about primary sources. The actual photo for students to study was very engaging. My students are very interested in visiting the Harvey House."

"As a culminating activity for Salinas Valley history unit. I've learned so much through this class: the history of Salinas, the Harvey House, the development of the railroad, I feel better able to share this privilege with my students. Take students as a field trip."


Great Historic Stop in Salinas!
We actually just kind of stumbled on this place after seeing the train museum and stopping by. Such a great experience and I’m so glad we went! It actually ended up being a highlight of our trip! Our tour guide was so wonderful! Full of information, guided us through all the rooms with great anecdotes. The house had ALL the original furniture too which is so rare! Really got a glimpse back at the time period, and with our guide we were filled in in a way we couldn’t have been by just browsing by ourselves. Also very unpretentious and happy to let us take pictures and ask questions. What a little gem!
Stop by if you are in Salinas and want to learn some interesting history!


-Jeannie S 


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