BELTON — More than a dozen young ladies, with their favorite dolls in tow, visited the Bell County Museum on Saturday with their moms to experience what life was like growing up in Depression-era America.
Held in conjunction with Dorothea Lange’s exhibit, the museum hosted a “Mother-Daughter Day in Kit’s World.”
“I love Kit. I saw the movie and I read all her books, but I wanted to know how it all happened, why it all happened,” said Grace Phol, 12. “I wanted answers and the backstory, which is why I came.”
Author Harriet Brown created Kit Kittredge, a young girl growing up in 1930s America who witnessed many of the seminal events of that decade, including the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Similarly, Lange, a noted American photographer, traveled around the country photographing people affected by these tumultuous events.
“She captured how people really looked,” said Grace’s mom, Linda Pohl. “She didn’t pose or stage anything.”
Grace said she never heard of Lange before, but was captivated by her work.
“I realized the Depression was America’s toughest time and it was how America was formed,” she said. “Every country has its ups and downs and it’s important to understand ours. I have a better understanding of what it was like to live during that time now.”
The event included a tour of the exhibit, refreshments, a magic show, a hobo, a sewing demonstration and a doll beauty parlor. Girls were given a quilting starter kit to take home and participants met Bell County’s own Kit Kittredge, played by Emma Rose Gill, 9.
“History for kids is stagnant, so whenever there is an opportunity to connect what they are learning through a kid-centric activity is great,” said mother of two April Luce.
Her daughter, Sarah, 10, enjoyed the hands-on sewing portion of the event and her 6-year-old daughter, Faith, enjoyed being part of the magic show.
For more information about future museum events, go to www.bellcountymuseum.org.