Thursday, May 26, 2016

Monterey Pass: The Road to Appalachia and the French & Indian War

Monterey Pass: The Road to Appalachia and the French & Indian War
4th – 8th Grades (Running Time: 30 minutes)


Students will learn about the Monterey Pass area during the mid 1700’s. Prior to the French and Indian War, Monterey Pass was a major transportation route that led to Appalachia. After the Revolutionary War, roads were built as settlers settled into the area. Also, Mason and Dixon established the boundary that settled a land dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania which became the unofficial line that separated north and south. Using museum quality reproductions, the Living Historian will show students many items and clothing that a civilian from 1750 would have worn and used during this time period and some of the challenges that faced. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes


1. Using reproduction items, students will be able to learn what people from 1740-1760’s or the Colonial era would have worn, carried, and used on a daily basis. Students will also learn about the Appalachian Culture and the roads used by immigrants. During the French and Indian War, people living in Cumberland Valley fled to the safety of South Mountain where several Indian Raids took place.

Materials Used:

1. For the living historian, he would display clothing that was worn by both male and female. He would also display one set of accouterments showing the students what the average ranging man would have carried on patrol. The living historian would be required to leave any black power at home.

2. An unloaded musket could be shown to the students to discuss weapon policies and basic training of a soldier such as “Manual of Arms”.

3. A haversack containing food rations of the average ranger can be shown and passed around for the students to hold. Cooking utensils such as a pewter plate, tin dipper (cup) and mess tins could be shown.

4. The market wallet which is where extra items were stored can be unpacked for students to see blankets, personal items such as comb and other little things such as playing cards and different games.


1. The Living Historian would bring period correct items as part of his display, and display those items in such a way to make them visible to the students.

2. The Living Historian will give a basic overview of rangers, camps, travel and actions that occurred in the area, encouraging student participation.

3.  The Living Historian will explain all items, unpacking contents for the students to see.

4. The Living Historian will go through the accouterments and then explain their usage.

Topics to Highlight:

1. Introduction

a. What is a Living Historian and what does he do?

2. Explain what the French and Indian War was about.

a. Introduction

i. Talk about Monterey Pass as a gateway for a new life

ii. What was life like along the road?

iii. Talk about life once the war broke out

iv. Talk about Ranging Companies vs. British soldiers or militia

v. Life after the French and Indian War

b. The Musket

i. Explain the difference between smooth-bore vs. rifle

ii. Explain the difference between rifled musket and rifle

iii. Examine the dummy cartridges and flint used during the F&I War period

iv. Explain about loading process

v. Using a roped off area, demonstrate by a firing demonstration

c. Market Wallet/Knapsack

i. Explain the market wallet/knapsack and why civilians or soldiers carried these

ii. Open the market wallet/knapsack and begin to showcase the contents

d. Haversack and Canteen

i. Ask the students what they think rangers/soldiers ate on campaign. 

ii. Discuss types of food soldiers typically ate

iii. Discuss cooking ingredients and procedures

e. The Accouterments

i. The cartridge box, powder bag, belt and buckle

3. Make sure that students are given an opportunity to ask any further questions they may have after the presentation

Closure: Ask the students what they think life was like and could they could live as people did more than 250 years ago ?  Do you think it was easy or hard?

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