CSI campers investigate the Codman family

Jul 22, 2011

Fourteen campers from a Crime Scene Investigationcamp in New Hampshirerecently visited the Codman Estate to put their detective skills to the test.  The seventh and eighth graders investigatedthe lives of seven Codman family members using “evidence” in the form ofdocuments, photographs, objects, and spaces that the family left behind intheir Lincoln, Massachusetts,home.

The Case of the EmptyHouse engages students’ skills of observation, deduction, and reasoningthrough an in-depth exploration of the house and gardens that make up theCodman Estate.  Students examine books,portraits, furniture, artworks, and other family treasures to determine how theCodman family spent their days, and how the lives of this intriguing family intersected.

Camp Sargent in Merrimack, New Hampshire, began to offer their CSI camp last year, and this yearthe campers’ trip to Lincolnreplaced a forensics lab conducted on camp grounds. Camp counselor Denise Moquin was excited bythe opportunity for her campers to utilize all aspects of forensics in ahistoric setting and get a hands-on experience with history that they mightnot come across in their school classrooms.

Among other revelations, the CSI campers hypothesized thatmatriarch Sarah Codman was fond of entertaining and socializing, but that she alsohad a quieter side as revealed through her watercolor paintings, which thecampers observed in Sarah’s bedroom.  Theday concluded with campers presenting their findings and then replacing onesegment at a time to a giant reprint of a Codman family photograph, literallysolving the Codman puzzle.