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A trip to ... Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie, NY

Your complete field guide to make the most of your visit

Family Friendly Field Guide

A trip to ... Locust Grove Estate

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2683 South Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
845-454-4500 • lgny.org

Open every day from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Grounds are free; guided tours are $11/adults, $6/kids

Locust Grove EstateThe historic Locust Grove Estate includes 15 buildings on nearly 200 acres of gardens and grounds and is a great place for parents and kids to enjoy the natural environment of the Hudson Valley, and learn about Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph and Morse Code.

Before you go:  

Visit Locust Grove’s website to check out their ongoing educational events.  You can also check out books about Samuel Morse and the history of telecommunications. Recommended titles include:

Suitable for 8-12 years 

“Samuel F.B. Morse” by Jean Lee Latham
“Samuel Morse” by Mona Kerby
“Samuel F.B. Morse” by John Hudson Tiner 

Suitable for high school and older 

“The Telegraph” by Lewis Coe
“The American Leonardo” by Carleton Mabee
“The Story of Telecommunications” by George Oslin
“The Accursed Life of Samuel Morse” by Kenneth Silverman
“The Victorian Internet” by Tom Standage

  Books on Morse as an artist 

“Samuel F.B. Morse” by William Kloss

“Samuel F.B. Morse” by Paul J. Staiti  

For your outing you will need:

A map of the estate grounds; print one out from our website, or pick a free one up at the museum shop.

Locust Grove

Vocabulary to know while visiting:

 Morse code: An alphabet or code in which letters are represented by combinations of long and short signals of light or sound. 

Telegraph: A system for transmitting messages from a distance along a wire, especially one creating signals by making and breaking an electrical connection.

Telegraph key: A telegraph key is a general term for any switching device used primarily to send Morse code. Similar keys are used for all forms of manual telegraphy, such as in ‘wire’ or electrical telegraph and ‘wireless’ or radio telegraphy. 

Learning in action:

Horticulture scavenger hunt:

Look for the “In Bloom this Week” display outside the museum shop, and locate each flower in the historic flower gardens.

Science scavenger hunt:

Find the following in the Morse Exhibit Gallery:  

• Telegraph patent model

• Atlantic Telegraph Cable Section

• Wet-cell Battery

• Morse Code Robot

• Morse Code flashlight

History scavenger hunt:

Take a guided tour of the historic mansion and see if you can find:

• Bird bouquet (in the Drawing Room)

• Gas chandelier (in the Music Room)

• Dumb waiter (in the Butlers Pantry)

• Edison home phonograph (in the Billiards Room)

• Burglar alarm (in the Upper Hall) • Gas iron (in the Laundry Room)

• Dog bowl (in the Kitchen)

Bring it home:

Code and decode a message in Morse Code; you can buy Morse Code samples in the museum shop, or download one for free online. 

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