Monday, May 25, 2009

Clara Barton's Home Part 1

On Sunday, I went to Clara Barton’s home in Glen Echo, MD. When I arrived at the home, Ranger Finta gave me a tour of Clara’s home. Here are some facts I learned about the house and Clara during my visit. Clara’s house was built as part of Glen Echo Park by two brothers and can hold 30-40 people. In 1897, Clara moved into the home when she was 75 years old. According to Ranger Finta, the most people Clara had spend the night at one time was 25. To Clara, the house was more than a home. The house was an office for the Red Cross and a storage place for supplies. In the main hallway there are many hidden cabinets that were filled with the supplies. The cabinets held blankets, food, bandages, soap and clothes for those in need. There was something very interesting that I learned, in order to cover the ceilings in the house, Clara used the same material that she used for bandages. This material is called muslin and it is sort of like cotton.

This is the front of Clara's house.

Did you know that Clara had a cat named Tommy and there is a painting of Tommy in the house. Tommy lived until the age of 17.

Clara thought that a telephone was important to have because the Red Cross needed to communicate and to stay in touch with those who needed help.

Clara Barton actually worked at this desk

When Clara was 82 years old, she stepped down from being the leader of the Red Cross. One year later, at age 83 she started the National First Aide Association of America.

After the tour, I had a chance to interview Ranger Finta who was kind enough to take time to talk to me. Ranger Finta told me that one of the best resources for teachers and students on Clara Barton is the website. She said that you can take a virtual tour of the house and become a Junior Ranger online. To become a Junior Ranger online, you complete the program and send Ranger Finta your certificate and she will send you a Junior Ranger badge. Ranger Finta also said that she could send resources to your school. Her favorite part of Glen Echo is telling everyone about Clara Barton’s life and accomplishments. Ranger Finta feels that Clara does not get the recognition that she deserves in American History. There are also some primary source documents online. Her favorite thing about Clara Barton is her perseverance. Ranger Finta admired Clara for never quitting and her determination to start the Red Cross. Another great resource is the house itself. The house contains 1/3 of the original furnishing, collections and items that Clara used.

For me, it was amazing that I was standing in the house that Clara lived and worked in. I was walking the same stairs and halls that Clara walked. It was very emotional for me.

Ranger Finta is showing me how they tied on bandages

In my next post, I actually get to meet Clara Barton.

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