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Andrew Baumgart, 7, right, and Jasmine Quimby, 7, rake the soil Tuesday at the Danielson homestead west of Spicer. Students in Mary Rinke's first-grade class at Roosevelt Elementary School in Willmar participated in a recreation of another time at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center near Spicer. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

Local students experience life from another place in time

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It was a big day Tuesday at the Danielson homestead west of Spicer. Anders Danielson's new bride, Anna Johnson, was arriving from Sweden and a group of young students were helping prepare the place for the event.

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The 6- and 7-year-olds swept out Danielson's log cabin, cleaned laundry by hand on a washboard and beat rugs on a clothes line.

In keeping with the festive nature of the occasion, Anders taught the youngsters some songs and a few dance steps. He accompanied some of the songs on a banjo -- even after one of the strings broke.

Like Bill Murray in the movie "Groundhog Day," Anders will relive that event in his life again and again in the days to come -- 13 times in 12 days to be precise.

Anders' bride really did arrive at the Danielson place in 1888.

Now the event is recreated where it actually happened for "time traveling" students.

On Tuesday it was the members of Karen Rinke's first-grade class at Roosevelt Elementary School in Willmar who spiffed up the farm, now a part of the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in rural Spicer.

Gerald Saetveit played Anders. And Teri Wermerskichen was Anna Monson who spoke with a Scandinavian brogue as she showed the children how to do what children did long before there was Wii and the Internet.

How little children know of such times was illustrated as two of the students swept out the second floor of the Danielson cabin.

One of them noticed a spinning wheel in the corner and explained to the other student that people of long-ago times used the device to generate electricity.

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