New Albany News

Ealy House used for local history lesson


New Albany first-graders recently learned while touring the historic Ealy House on Dublin-Granville Road that homes didn't always have the amenities they enjoy daily.

"I think they learned that everyone didn't always live the way they live," said Marilyn Regrut, president of the New Albany-Plain Township Historical Society, which gave the house tour. "They learned that they (residents) didn't always have lights in their home, they didn't always have electricity and there were not bathrooms inside."

The tour was part of the first-graders' social studies unit, which aligns with the state's new standard curriculum for first-graders, said first-grade teacher Syndi Zimmerman.

The standard is to "develop concepts about how the world is organized spatially through beginning map skills. They build the foundation for understanding principles of government and their role as citizens."

Zimmerman said last year, half the first-graders toured the Ealy House, and many said it was their favorite part of the school year.

This year, the entire first-grade class -- nearly 400 students -- visited the home.

The Ealy House at 6359 Dublin-Granville Road is a mid-19th-century building reflective of historical development in the area. It was restored by the New Albany-Plain Township Historical Society.

Historical society members estimate the home was built in 1860 based on a list of names written in pencil on an attic wall. The list includes the names of local craftsmen who "were building or had just finished building the Ealy House," according to the society's website.

The house is close enough to the K-1 elementary building that students were able to walk there for the tour.

Regrut said docents from the society were stationed in each room and talked about the way the Ealy family and others lived during the mid-1800s.

Zimmerman said students are studying the past 50 years of history and current practices while planning the city's development for the next 50 years.

Each classroom will use maps, Lego blocks, recycled materials or other components to illustrate what New Albany might look like in the next 50 years, she said.

She said students will complete their plans in late October or early November.