Former schoolhouse, now ice cream shop, sees teaching once again

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Mc Cloud, the miniature horse; and Zoe from Mississippi, an Australian shepherd and Saint Bernard mix. (Courtesy photos)

LEBANON - Sharon Thompson has always enjoyed running her summer business, Schoolhouse Ice Cream.

But this summer it’ll be a little different at her ice cream parlor on Baker’s Grant Road. She’ll also be serving up a scoop full of farm critter knowledge using the many different animals she keeps in a corral and barn adjacent to the shop.

Thompson, a longtime teacher during the school year, wants to teach children about the animals she keeps - many of them rescued – and how they should be treated with both respect and kindness.

“My goal is to become a therapy farm,” she said this week. “I enjoy working with the animals. You can't help but smile when the mini goats dance on their hind feet and then butt heads.”

When patrons return to her reopening this Saturday they’ll notice some other changes as well.

Besides having daily farm tours at the former town schoolhouse, Thompson has also decided to discontinue the food menu to concentrate more on teaching kids about the rescued critters she keeps.

One of her favorites is Mc Cloud, who she says gets first place in the rescued animal category.

“He was dropped off in the field at 9 at night. What a surprise that was,” she said this week. “Then he was fed chocolate ice cream by a customer and had an allergic reaction.”

The farm is also home to Nellie, the pot belly pig; Eugene and Nippy, both miniature goats; and Peter Rabbit and his best friend, Annabelle, the guinea pig. There's also ducks and baby chicks. 

Thompson is also hoping to sell her business as a children’s birthday destination and said she can offer other party options, including clowns, magic shows and other activities.

Other events planned for the summer include volleyball on Tuesday nights and Cruise Nights featuring classic cars the first Saturday of every month beginning in June.

Thompson reminds children and adults who visit to never feed any of her animals any food without permission from the staff.

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