Education: Wagner-Ritter House

Johnstown Area Heritage Association
Teachers' Guide

A Kid's Cambria

A boy's baseball team posing on a sandlot with houses and mill in background

Boys playing baseball in a sandlot near the mills.

A Kid's Cambria: Growing up in 1900

What was it like to be a kid growing up in 1900 at home, work, and play?


Some kids didn't have the luxury of "growing up." It was still a time of great infant and childhood mortality, when many children never lived to see their sixth birthdays. Many of those who did make it soon confronted more danger when they went to work in the mines and mills to help families living on the edge of poverty.


Schools prepared them for an economic world very different than ours, so most left school after eighth grade, but not until completing a surprisingly rigorous curriculum, which modern students can sample right from the textbooks.


Still, kids will be kids, so kid's growing up in Cambria City did not neglect having fun! Students will learn how kids occupied themselves before mass media and adult-devised video- and computer-games.

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