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SEMO Students Get Hands-On Opportunity In Ste. Genevieve

Sixteen undergraduate students and one graduate student spent the past two weeks exploring Ste. Genevieve history and getting some hands-on experience with colonial-era skills during Southeast Missouri State University’s annual summer historic preservation field school.

The activities included line drawings and photography at the circa 1865 John Hael House on North Main and archaeology work behind the circa 1807 Pierre Dorlac House on St. Mary’s Road.

Students also learned to make hand-hewn logs from Jesse Francis, cultural site manager for St. Louis County Parks, and how to do paper marbling from John Bielik. They also toured historic houses.

The field school started in 1997. Originally held in conjunction with Murray State University, it focused on archaeology to begin with, then branched into archival research. Today it focuses on giving students some hands-on experience in various areas.

Dr. Steven Hoffman, head of the historic preservation program, has led the field school for more than 10 years. He said he has been pleased with this year’s group. He also expressed appreciation to the community.

“I continue to be impressed with the community here and how much they embrace us and just the opportunities to work with these historic sites,” he said, calling it “an amazing experience.”

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