The philosophy underlying Mount Gulian’s school programs is that children learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process and when history is shown to be applicable to their own experience. Children find history fascinating when they can touch it, feel it, smell it and see it – as well as hear about it.

Mount Gulian’s experiential, curriculum-based school programs expand classroom lessons and give students the opportunity to acquire historical knowledge and skills through their use of the museum’s extensive collection of primary documents, authentic artifacts and reproductions. The collection includes: tools, maps, costumes, muskets and journals.

The programs are designed to promote the use of students’ critical thinking skills by analyzing and evaluating data, reflecting upon the meaning of statements, and forming judgments about the facts.

Through the use of reproductions, students learn about the life of children in the 18th century. Themes explored include recreation, education, family life, responsibilities, clothing, and manners. This program demonstrates the differences and similarities between colonial and today’s children. Curriculum is presented in an age appropriate manner.

Designed to acquaint students with the period of settlement in the Hudson Valley, this program focuses on the ways of life of the Lenape Native Americans and the early fur traders, such as Gulian Verplanck. The presentation and activities focus on the economic and historical forces that shaped the region. Students engage in a fur trading simulation by operating trading posts and trading furs for goods.

This program focuses on a rare opportunity for students to investigate the life experiences of actual Revolutionary War soldiers as described in their books, letters, and diaries. Students work in teams to investigate several aspects of a soldier’s life and then report their discoveries back to the class. The program allows students to explore items that might commonly be found in a soldier’s haversack and to assume the role of a soldier by participating in General von Steuben’s drills and marches.

Through the life of Robert Newlin Verplanck, students learn about some of the complex issues of the period. The program, based upon an incredible treasure of letters, firmly places a Verplanck son in Mr. Lincoln’s army in a singularly noteworthy situation – that of training and leading African-American troops into battle. Students learn of the contribution of the African-American soldiers and the struggle to help them find their rightful place in the military and in American society. The students actively experience concepts related to the American Civil War experience in historical and present day context.

We will gladly bring our history programs to your school. The fee is $6 per student, plus mileage for the history programs.

Programs require advance reservations.
Call (845) 831-8172 or e-mail

• A confirmation letter and pre- and post-visit activity packets are provided.

• All programs have hands-on activities intended to provide a greater appreciation for the past and greater retention of what has been learned.

• Programs can be adapted to accommodate the developmental needs of a range of ages.

• Trained museum educators are dressed in period clothing.

• All on-site programs are approximately 1 1/2 hours in length.

• Cost: $5.00 per child; teacher and one adult chaperone per class are free.

• Lunch: The museum does not have eating facilities. However, students may eat on the riverside lawn, weather permitting. All garbage must be taken back to school.

• The museum gift shop will be open at the conclusion of the programs. Students will find the shop stocked with traditional educational toys and crafts of the period relating to history curriculum.


To book a school program, call:

(845) 831-8172
Mount Gulian Historic Site
145 Sterling Street
Beacon, New York 12508

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