The Hanover-Horton Area Historical Society has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the community. Without the community's support and generous donations, our dream of a place to showcase our agricultural heritage would have taken much longer to realize. If not for the community, Heritage Park might not even have come to fruition. The Society believes that it, in turn, has a responsibility to support the community.
Several non-sponsored events, in collaboration with other area organizations, take place at Heritage Park. Here are some examples. The Hanover 4th of July Parade, the Antique Tractor Club's "Tractor Caravan", and the high school's Homecoming Parade stage their lineups in the Park’s parking area every year. The Library uses our facility when they are hosting large events and the Lion's Club meets in our Event Center. The Hanover-Horton High School Cross Country team has used the Park for cross-county meets and the Land-'O-Lakes Boy Scouts Council held their "Spring Camporee" in the Meg's woods section in 2004.
The Society provides many varied projects our area young people can use to fulfill their "community service" requirements. And don't be surprised if on a beautiful spring day, you come upon a classroom of elementary students sitting along Meg's Trail while working on a writing assignment.
Education is important to the HHAHS! Throughout the year we provide bridges to the past for students so that they may learn how their ancestors lived and how their life is so very different from the past and yet, in some ways, very much the same. There are displays and activities to make learning history more interesting. We have a museum full of “treasures from the past” which students can visit. Children can see and feel things from the past. We have old-fashioned farming equipment outside as well as a working sugar shack. We help meet the needs of teachers in many different ways. We can also go into the classrooms and bring artifacts or teach a lesson about the past.
The fourth grade classes from Hanover-Horton Elementary School visit the Conklin Museum in the spring in preparation for reports on changes in technology. They learn about the advancement of the telephone beginning with the original switchboard used in Horton, to rotary dial phones, to the cell phones of today. They investigate the camera collection and flash bulbs, comparing the very old shutter cameras to Kodak Brownies to Polaroid cameras to 35mm. cameras to the modern day cell phone camera. The students also try their hands (and feet) at the antique reed (pump) organs and learn the history of the organs.
Kindergarteners have visited the museum as well, learning about the organs, the old-time classroom, and the 1957 fire truck and other antique fire apparatus.
Members of the Historical Society have taught a class in the Hanover Horton Elementary School’s Night Lights program, an after school program offering unique educational opportunities for children. In this class the children learned about birds and even built a bird house.
The Hanover-Horton Area Historical Society annually participates in the Learning Fair sponsored by many area businesses, industries, and service organizations. Our hands-on exhibits there have included a 1900 classroom, an old–fashioned laundry, an antique pump organ, a kiddies tractor pull, and old-fashioned toys such as stilts, tops, comb kazoos, marbles and button whizzers.
At Rust ‘N Dust our “Kids on the Farm” activity gives children a peek into their rural past as they pitch hay, milk a cow, gather and grade eggs, make straw bales, operate a kid-friendly grain elevator, do laundry with a scrub board, grind wheat, make butter, build wooden creations, and play with old-fashioned children's toys.
Children at the adjoining Hanover-Horton Elementary School have learned about the history and the methods of the maple sugaring process, and how the maple syrup is made. They have had the opportunity to visit the shack, help gather sap, and watch the syrup being made. A program for each grade level (Kindergarten through 5th grade) has been developed by three retired elementary teachers. There are as many as 500 elementary students who attend the program each year.