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Students learn about local history at Smith-McDowell House

During this time of year, the Smith-McDowell House is decked-out for the holiday season. It provides the perfect setting for Mountain Community School students to see what life was like in Buncombe County in the 1840s, '50s and '60s.(Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Students continued a Christmas tradition in the mountains with a visit to one of the oldest homes in Buncombe County

During this time of year, the Smith-McDowell House is decked-out for the holiday season. It provides the perfect setting for Mountain Community School students to see what life was like in Buncombe County in the 1840s, '50s and '60s.

They talk about the types of clothes people wore, the Civil War and see actual items in the home that date back to each time period.

Teachers said they hope the field trip gives the kids an appreciation for history.

"I want to expose them to the traditions of the past and see the toys the kids use to play with and how creative they had to be," first-grade teacher Terri Kelly said.

One of those toys was the gee-haw whammy diddle -- a type of toy that might have been given as gifts for boys and girls back in the 1850s.

The Smith-McDowell House is open for tours throughout the year.

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