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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

About This Lesson

This lesson plan is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Waterford Historic District" (with photographs), and materials in the collection of the Waterford Foundation, Inc. It was produced in collaboration with the National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative. Bronwen Souders, a member of the Waterford Foundation's education committee, wrote Waterford, Virginia: From Mill Town to National Historic Landmark. Jean West, education consultant, and the Teaching with Historic Places staff edited the lesson. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson focuses on changing life in a Quaker agricultural community and mill town. It can be used in American history, social studies, and geography courses in a unit on early industrialization or to illustrate how communities adapt to economic change.
Time period: 18th century to 20th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To identify stages in the economic development of Waterford.
2) To examine the role regional and national transportation networks played in linking this rural Virginia community with a wider world.
3) To determine why the appearance of Waterford has changed little over time, unlike many other communities.
4) To discover the history of their own community, including why it was founded and what changes in typical occupations have occurred.

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) two maps of Waterford and the surrounding region;
2) three readings about Waterford, wheat production, and the mill's work;
3) two drawings of Waterford;
4) four photos of Waterford.

Visiting the site
Waterford is approximately 35 miles northwest of Washington, DC via Route 7 or the Dulles Toll Road and Greenway; follow Route 7 northwest to Route 9, then north on Route 662. The village is accessible year-round to visitors. Although the 90 or so dwellings are still in private ownership, the Waterford Foundation owns and interprets the mill and a number of other public buildings. For information, contact the Waterford Foundation, P.O. Box 142, Waterford, VA 20197, or visit the Foundation's web site.



Comments or Questions

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