Crowley, Jasper (William Jasper), 1900-1976 donated Crowley lands to the community in 1972. He was a teacher at the Old Miakka one-room Schoolhouse from 1933-1943. When Fruitville Elementary School opened up he became the first principal and the Old Miakka Schoolhouse was closed. Jasper believed he witnessed the birth of delinquency in children first hand. In the 1930s and 1940s, “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child” philosophy was widely practiced. Also, children worked on the farm–nearly all people lived on enough land to keep a garden and some chickens and chores needed to be completed before fishing could take place.
Jasper felt, as many pioneer families did, that if children worked in the garden it connected them to natural systems and taught them to be self-sufficient, which also gained them self-confidence. He also thought it was important that children understand where their food came from and also learning self-reliance skills were necessary tools for life. Jasper would bring young men to work the farm who had gotten into trouble or ran away from home. Oral histories from some of these young men are testament to the notion that bringing them to the farm and teaching them about wild plants and how to build shelters, purify water, and other survival skills helped them to know they could provide for themselves if necessary. This gave them self-confidence and many young men became productive citizens when the odds were against them.
Following the early mission of Crowley, we bring children to Crowley to understand natural systems and where their food comes from. We teach them about completely self-reliant early cultures and impart them with a desire to become more self-sufficient and more mindful of preserving natural resources.
Summer or Family Programs? Not at this Time