The Sautter house was saved from demolition with the goal of providing an experience for 4th graders learning Nebraska History. The first tour of 4th graders came through the Sautter House in 1982. After Portal School was restored in the 1990s, it was an added stop for the 4th grade classes. A team of Papillion LaVista teachers, school administrators, members of the Papillion Area Historical Society, and community members researched and developed the curriculum for the 4th graders. The first field trip using this curriculum was in the spring of 2001.
Fourth graders listen to a pioneer story, tour City Hall, John Sautter farmhouse, and experience a one-room school setting in the historic Portal school. Their groups enjoy lunch on the grounds before their trip ends. Through the years, other area schools have joined in this annual spring field trip. In 2023, we had 1,015 students from 19 schools participate. We currently have open slots, if your school or 4th grade class would like to participate please email us.