Assassination in miniature

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Think of it as sibling rivalry run amok. While there were many benefits to Whiteaker Middle School eighth grader Madison Rutter constructing a scale replica of Ford’s Theatre, one that she’ll likely hang onto longer than some others was outdoing her sister. “I just wanted to do something bigger than her,” Madison said. Rutter’s grandfather, Paul Rutter, helped her sister construct a working cotton gin for an enrichment project a few years back. This year, Megan approached Paul with her own idea for a project, a replica of the site where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865. “I just kind of followed her lead and we took off from there,” said Paul, a housing contractor who spent eight weeks with his grandaughter constructing the model. It all started innocently enough. Matt Faatz, a Whiteaker social studies teacher, talked with students about taking on an enrichment project for extra credit. He told students it should be something that they were interested in learning more about. When Madison approached him looking for ideas, he gave her the book Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson. The story of an actor-turned-assassin was too interesting to pass up. She checked out every single book on the topic from the school library and found herself drawn to the theater where it happened. “It is just...

Read More