Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One-Room Schoolhouses

I've developed a growing curiosity in one-room schoolhouses lately.  I've always thought they were interesting. A while ago I became determined to take a photo that might be used on the front of my favorite homeschooling magazine, "The Old Schoolhouse Magazine".  They feature a one-room schoolhouse on the cover of each magazine, and take submissions from readers.

After doing some research for schools in my area and the state of MI, I've decided to merge my schoolhouse interest with my photography, and begin taking pictures of as many one-room schoolhouses as I can.  I hope to gather dozens over the years, and will try to search them out if we travel anywhere.

Today, I found a list of rule for teachers in 1872. This list was for Illinois teachers, but was similar throughout the U.S.  Interesting!

Each school district set up rules for the teacher to follow. Some of them were very strict, but they were important to the farmers in the district and made sense to them. Following is a list of rules for a teacher in 1872:
  1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
  2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.
  3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
  4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church.
  5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
  6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
  7. Every good teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not be a burden on society.
  8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity, and honesty.
  9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.
Here's my first photos taken in our area recently.  I don't know it's history, but the outside appears to have been neglected for quite some time. A peek in the windows however gave me the impression that it's being used as some type of office/storage area.  There's also a small, modern one room addition on the back side of the schoolhouse that may serve as someone's office. Love the little outhouse on the back, right side!

It's hard to see, but I believe the sign in front says "Dist. No. 5, 1887"


Maisy said...

Where did you find this one-room school house? I always feel a sort of "sadness" or "forlornness" when I see old school houses. And it quickly pulls me back in time to wonder what stories it has to tell. My grandmother was a one-room school house teacher. I heard a few stories from her.

Mom said...

Chris - This is really interesting. Did you remember that Faith and I went to a one-room schoolhouse in Baraboo? It was Faith's first year of school, first grade, and I was in 4th grade. They didn't have kindergarten back then, at least in most places. We ended up going to 4 schools that school year. The first one was the one-room school in Baraboo, just down the highway from our Grandma and Grandpa's farm. Our Dad was beginning a new church in Madison WI, so we moved 4 times in getting settled finally in a house in Madison.

In the one-room school there were grades 1-8, and I think there were about 20-25 students. It was really fun!

Glad you are combining homeschooling and photography. You will do well on that.

Love, Mom

Sara K. said...

This is fantastic, Chris! What a cool venture! :)

Nancy said...

Very cool, Chris. That's a great pic. I know that Gena is always looking for Schoolhouses to use. At one point, they had put together some guidelines to help photographers take the best shots of the Schoolhouses. I don't remember them all, but I think it was about having space around the schoolhouse so that the words on the cover wouldn't hide any of the schoolhouse. Keep me updated on your progress!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

I have a little one under the weather today and believe it or not--I actually have more time to sit and read--funny how that works when you homeschool. Anyway--I had time today to brouse through your blog--I love this post--Well, I love them all--but I loved the rules for the teachers--wow--things have changed:)

Thanks for your words today--I am feeling a little gray--and needed to put what was inside into words:) God is good and His Grace AMAZING--I am so thankful for the changes in the seasons of our lives--I just don't embrace them very well!

Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving.