Sunday, September 13, 2009

One-Room School House

John's uncle Billy is visiting us from Boston, and we've been showing him the sights of Savannah, and the area.
Yesterday, we took a trip up to Statesboro Georgia (about 40 miles away) to visit our friends Glenn and Jan. Jan has a 100+ year old one-room school house on her property! The school house has been moved to her land, and filled with items from the time period. It is truly something fabulous to encounter! I feel like Laura Ingalls in Little House On The Prairie every time I enter the school!
Naturally, I got tons of pictures while there.
Included is some history of the one-room school houses, taken directly from the pamphlet that Jan hands out to everyone who comes to see her school:

Originally constructed in Tattnall County, Georgia, the Oak Grove School is an excellent example of the one-room schools that served most of Georgia's rural students from the 19th century to the mid 20th century. Few of these historic buildings have survived.

Through the vision and generosity of Georgia Southern University alumna and benefactor, Jan Anderson, the school has been fully restored to help preserve the history of one-room school education. Jan presented the Oak Grove School as a gift to Georgia Southern University during it's Centennial celebration in 2006 to recognize the University's long-standing commitment to teacher education.

In March 2008, she was awarded the NSDAR's National Historic Preservation Medal for her preservation of Oak Grove School.

In 1900, there were more than 7,000 one-room school houses in Georgia. Today, only a handful of these gems of education are preserved, and the Oak Grove School is an archetypical example of these historic structures. Through it's preservation, visitors are taken back to this unique era of Georgia's educational history.

Georgia had no public education until after the Civil War (1861-1865). The One-room school, where a single teacher taught students of all ages and abilities, was established to provide education to specific communities or families, and the schools often lasted no longer than the tenure of the teacher.

A 1916 survey of Tattnall County schools recorded the value of the Oak Grove School at $250. It featured one classroom with no cloakroom. It was well lit and "fairly well kept", but the building had no ceiling and was unpainted inside and out. The desks were homemade and the blackboards were poor. One teacher taught 32 pupils in seven grades, and classes met for five-and-a-half months of the year.

Construction of the schools varied greatly, but most were simple wooden clapboard structures approximately 15 feet wide and 30 feet long with a gable roof. There were usually one or two doors on the gable end, often covered by a porch or shed roof. The only lighting was provided by two, three, or four windows on the sides. A small chimney or stovepipe on the ridgeline of the roof was evidence of the single potbelly stove inside.

Simply furnished, most one-room schools had either homemade or patent desks. A teacher's desk and blackboards were the only other furnishings. Educational supplies might include some maps, usually state or county soil maps or a U.S. history map, and a few pictures, and perhaps a dictionary. Well-funded schools featured a globe, a small library, or occasionally an organ for music lessons.

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1 comment:

debevans said...

OMG, that's so cool!!!