The One-Room Schoolhouse
Today I went to the Doolittle Schoolhouse with my friend Polly to greet a group of 4th graders from a local school. We presented them with an actual experience of a school day in the 1800s. Two other 4th grade classes are scheduled for later in June.
Some of the children dressed in period clothing and brought their snack in pails they made from large tin food containers the lunchroom ladies saved for them. Many decorated their pails with patriotic designs and colors.
They filed in one-by-one with their teacher and sat in the old fashioned desks. Polly and I were dressed in out early American aprons. She read them the story of the Pledge of Allegiance, and discussed the difference between this school and their own school.
Then they went outside for a break and when they returned to the classroom, ate their snack. A Spelling Bee followed. Believe it or not, the kids love this and ask for one every year. Then the buses came and the kids went back to their own school a few miles down the road. The Doolittle School is a rebuilt one-room schoolhouse that was in use between 1846 and 1954 when it closed. It had been abandoned and used by area farmers to store hay, chickens, and you name it. When it was decided to bring it back to life as a Museum, some of it had rotted. All useable parts were saved and reused; rotted parts were replaced. There is an old fashioned coal stove in the center of the room, a real “black” board made from wood and painted, old wall maps, a picture of G. Washington and a flag with 30 stars on it. The schoolhouse is on its original location.
Every June, the 4th graders come up to be a part of living history in Schoolhouse/Museum. I’ve only been helping for a few years but Polly has been doing this since the place opened. It is a marvelous experience.