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The One-Room Schoolhouse

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Prior to the 1800s, school sessions were often held in buildings that were used for other purposes. Then came the one-room schoolhouse like this one.

Most one-room schoolhouses had separate entrances and sides of the room for boys and girls. There were also separate areas of the playground. Younger children sat in front, while the older ones sat in back.

A stove usually sat in one corner with a pipe extending the length of the room to distribute heat throughout. The front wall of the classroom was painted black with a mixture of egg white and burned potato to create a “black board”.

Misbehavior was simply not tolerated. Any damage to the school, its contents, or the surrounding property resulted in a fine for the parents of up to $250 or six months in jail. No vulgar language was ever permitted, nor was playing or jumping on seats, nor climbing on trees, fences, or out buildings. Sitting in a corner, wearing a “dunce cap” was meant to embarrass bad actors and if the problem was severe enough, it might even warrant a whipping.

Teachers normally put in ten-hour days and were expected to fill and clean oil lamps, haul water for the students, and coal for the stove. Women teachers who became engaged or got married were dismissed from their jobs. And for all that, if they did a good job for five years without any “faults”, they were granted a $.25 a week raise!

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1.: Original name of the school.

2.Student learn about how a one-room schoolhouse was run.

3.Schoolhouse as it sits on Parks-Bentley property.

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