Education at the Heart of Hull House
A broad array of experiences are currently being offered to visitors through a variety of methods to encourage understanding and appreciation of the multifaceted heritage story presented here. We strive to develop a ‘hands-on’ experience for visitors.
The house is presently open for individual and family visitation, group tours including student groups and commercial tour companies. We continue to develop new topics for our lecture series, seminars, field trips and focused field studies. Several times each year, we invite the public to join our archaeologists in a community ‘dig’ where they can unearth a piece of our past for themselves. We currently have seasonal and themed special events which provide new reasons to visit the site on a repeat basis.
The architecture of the Hull’s home was fairly new to this area as few settlers could afford the opulence of the Federal style. This is a large stone home and not at all like the simple wooden structures that most settlers inhabited. Docents will guide you through the house and explain the architectural significance of key elements of the dwelling. …and for teachers or parents of 9 to 11 year olds, be sure to read "The Ghost and Me, Joey" by Iris Drzewiecki, a book of historical fiction based on the Hull family and their home.
As restoration and our educational program development progresses, it is our goal to expand the telling of the stories inherent to our site—the role of pioneer settlers in the development of Western New York, to a time dating to before the building of the Erie Canal, the daily life during that time, and the relationship between Hull, Joseph Ellicott and the Holland Land Company. The Hull settlers played roles in the development of our nation including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the burning of Buffalo in December 1813, and the Civil War. There is great importance in telling the stories of white settlers to the Native American lands, and how the family was involved in the issues of black slavery during abolition. They have links to the broader pattern of westward expansion of the United States and migration of some of the Hull children to six Midwestern states by the 1850’s.
The development of the land and the beginning of agriculture in Western New York is a story all its own. New England farming techniques were adapted to the rich soil of this area and new crops were established. Our unique weather patterns also played large part in the success or failure of the annual harvest. With the full restoration of the barn, development of pastures, a kitchen garden and cultivation of fields, we will have a small working farm to demonstrate the full experience of a frontier farm.
Student field trips to the Hull Family Home & Farmstead are being scheduled from May through October. Students will learn through the Hull Family about the Western New York frontier and pioneer life in the early 1800's. Teachers can access an introductory video and materials (accessible at the bottom of this page) that can be shown to students prior to their trip.
There will be a $50 per classroom fee for field trips. We request that there be a 1:10 adult-to-child ratio for supervision purposes. Please note that due to its historic nature, the Hull House is not handicapped accessible.
For more information, please contact Suzanne Jacobs, Education Director at 716 681-5494
History Camp for Kids is now accepting applications. Camp will be held July 29 - Aug 2 from 9 AM to 4 PM for students entering fifth through seventh grade. Cost is $150 for the week. For a full description of camp activities, please see the Events page. "History Camp for Kids" provides a full five days of activities designed for students to learn about and experience pioneer life in Western New York circa 1820. Campers will engage in pioneer chores and games, cooking and sewing, crafts and trades. They will learn about Native American life on the WNY frontier, as well as American involvement in the Revolutionary War, and War of 1812. In addition, they will participate in an archaeological dig and learn about caring for and cataloging artifacts.
For more information and an application, contact Suzanne Jacobs, Education Director at 716 681-5494