School Groups

The Dickens Victorian Village display offers excellent opportunities to learn about life during the Victorian era -- a time of both rapid economic growth and economic and social challenges for citizens in England.

Each display features a plaque with factual and interesting information about life during this time.

For example, did you know that...

Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" in roughly six weeks. The Cratchit family was based on his own childhood life, he being the eldest of five siblings. Tiny Tim was representative of all children living in poverty.

King William IV died in 1837 and Queen Victoria ascended the throne. This was the true beginning of the "Victorian Era," which ended in 1901 with the Queen's death. She had reigned for almost 64 years, the longest reign in British history.

In the early Victorian period, Christmas presents such as children's toys were handmade and expensive. With the advent of factories and mass production, games and dolls became more affordable and available to all classes. The poorest children received an apple, orange, or a few nuts instead.

The public was fascinated by the new invention of gaslights. Queen Victoria was slow to accept gas lighting, but finally agreed to its use in 1854, when it was used to illuminate the new ballroom at Buckingham Palace.

The lamplighter, an employee of the town, usually used a wick on a long pole to ignite the gas flame of public street gaslights. In 1834, London had over six hundred miles of gas lines laid in order to feed the street lamps.

Learn more about this era of life by visiting each scene and taking a step back in time!  

In addition to the walking tour of the Dickens Victorian Village display throughout the historic downtown, school groups will learning about and experience a child’s life at the time of Charles Dickens. Local retired teachers in Victorian dress explain the world of children in the 1800's. Children’s jobs will be explored from street sweeper to chimney sweep.  They will play old games, such as “Hot Boiled Beans” and “What’s in the Basket”, view toys of the era and sing songs of long ago. Discover how the Dickens Victorian Village began in Cambridge based on  “A Christmas Carol”. Of special interest is the explanation of how the mannequin heads are made.

The Educational Side of Dickens has been developed by a group of local retired teachers. The program’s purpose is to develop activities correlated with the Dickens Victorian Village. These activities educate and entertain students from area schools, as well as fulfill Academic Content Standards required by the Ohio Department of Education. 

Contact Jan Bennett, school group tour coordinator, for assistance with your student field trip plans. 740-680-3338