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Normal School Gardens

From the very early days of Cheney’s academy and Normal school, there was a garden tended by the students. The garden provided vegetables for the school kitchen, as well as hands-on learning and civic participation lessons for the students.

The garden was located behind, and slightly to the west of the main school building. Today, that would be between Showalter and Huston Hall.

Gardening was also a course taught as part of the Manual Arts during the summer school sessions.

A full row of red and white sweet cherries extends across the ground between the school garden and play grounds. The school garden has been very much improved and beautified this year with the additional shrubbery that has been planted, and the new beautiful flowers that have been blooming since early springtime.

Gardening was also a course taught as part of the Manual Arts during the summer school sessions.

The school garden serves a double purpose: that of training the Normal School students under the direction of the Agricultural Department, and that of a garden for the children of the Training School.

During the war with Europe 1917-1918, now known as World War I, students used the school gardens to demonstrate patriotism by growing vegetables listed on the government food lists in Victory Gardens. Each grade had its own garden plot.

This 1927 view of the garden shows the edge of the Training School and Sutton Hall on the far left and the Manual Arts building on the right. The view is west along 7th Street.

Image of Gerald the Museum Mouse

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We are operated completely by volunteers and through your donations. We receive no government funding for our operations. All of your donations go to funding our efforts to research and preserve our history, and most importantly, share the stories with you both at the museum and beyond its walls.