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Girls will be girls as they share special secrets even when they’re learning how to sew on a button. Kyleigh Rice, 9, at right, has something important to whisper to Laney Barreno, 9. Hailey Goodman, 10, makes sure the button she’s sewn onto a square of cloth is just right.

Students try their hand at old time skills

The biscuits are patted out by hand and small circles created in the dough. Soon they’ll be ready for the tiny oven of the ancient wood-fired stove.

Butter is being made, not churned, but in a jar with many students taking turns shaking it vigorously until the mixture turns to a rich creamy butter they can slather on the homemade biscuits.

At another station. students from Stacy Saez’ fourth-grade class learn to sew on a button. Meanwhile, volunteer Michael Meisenheimer was busy showing them what children would have played with more than 100 years earlier.

And then there’s the traditional candle dipping station. Here students learned that they can create their own candle by repeatedly dipping a wick into hot wax. It takes patience, but even the most rambunctious student seemed to enjoy the challenge.

These might be called the home arts, as groups of students dressed in period costumes shifted from one station to the next on Helen Lawry’s lawn and back yard. It’s a project that longtime Quincy residents would approve of.

Across the street, students learn to pan for gold, dipping their hands in cold water and swirling bits of gravel around in a pan hoping to spot a little color, as the old time miners referred to flakes of gold.

For more years than these fourth-graders have known, the Plumas County Museum, its volunteers and accompanying parents, show children just some of the things their great-great grandparents might have taken on as normal chores.

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