Cold Springs School, Big Flat, AR



Cold Springs School

Cold Springs Hollow

Big Flat, Arkansas

The Cold Springs School is a historic school building in a remote area of the Buffalo National River in southeastern Marion County, Arkansas. It is located at a place called Cold Springs Hollow that is now only accessible from the river. The building is a small single-story fieldstone structure, built c. 1935 with funding from the Works Progress Administration. Construction of the school provided jobs to needy farmers in the area, as well as a place to educate their children.  The school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

“Mud College” or The Pleasant Grove School, Littlestown, PA



“Mud College” or The Pleasant Grove School

4084 Baltimore Pike (aka 97N)

Littlestown, PA

The Mud College School, also known as the Pleasant Grove School House, is the only one room school in the Littlestown, PA, area that has been preserved as it was when it closed. This school is located along route 97 about 4 miles southeast of Gettysburg in Mount Joy Township. The school was constructed in 1869, thrived during a period of time in which there were over 200 of these (small schools) throughout the county.  The old school once served students from the Gettysburg and Littlestown areas. The facility was closed in 1949 when area students began being bussed to Gettysburg or Littlestown school districts.

This school was bought at public auction by the family of Walter, Maynard, Herbert, Robert, Paul, George, Charles, John, and Lawrence Crouse and Alta E. Repscha in 1951. Later it was given back to Mount Joy Township in 2000 by Lillie, David, and Clyde Crouse in memory of the original purchasers who had acquired the old school to continue to hold school reunions there, with a sum of money to help in preserving it for historic purposes.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 2012. The school still retains its original bell.  Its current use is a museum operated by Mount Joy Township.  It is opened several times a year for visits or arrangements can be made through Mount Joy Township to visit the school.  The township’s Mud College Committee has been using the school to conduct “living history” lessons, primarily for fourth graders, for the past several years.

Franz Anton Rössler and his Flute Concerto in d minor


     Franz Anton Rössler or Francesco Antonio Rosetti (c. 1746/1750 –June 30, 1792) was a classical era composer and double bass player, and was a contemporary of Haydn and Mozart.  Rossler was born about 1746 to1750 in Litoměřice, a town in Northern Bohemia. He is believed to have received early musical training from the Jesuits in Prague. In 1773, by which time his name had been changed to Italianate form, Rossler left his native country and found employment in the Hofkapelle of Prince Kraft Ernst of Oettingen-Wallerstein whom he served for sixteen years, becoming Kapellmeister in 1785. In 1777, he married Rosina Neher, with whom he had three daughters. In late 1781 he was granted leave to spend 5 months in Paris. Many of the finest ensembles in the city performed his works. Rossler arranged for his music to be published, including a set of six symphonies published in 1782. He returned to his post, assured of recognition as an accomplished composer.

In July of 1789 Rossler left Wallerstein to accept the post of Kapellmeister to the Duke Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Ludwigslust.  Rossler wrote over 400 compositions, primarily instrumental music including many symphonies and concertos which were widely published. Rossler also composed a significant number of vocal and choral works, particularly in the last few years of his life. Among these are German oratorios including Der sterbende Jesu and Jesus in Gethsemane (1790) and a German Hallelujah.  The English music historian Charles Burney included Rossler among the most popular composers of the period in his work A General History of Music.  Rossler is perhaps best known for his horn concertos, which Mozart scholar H. C. Robbins Landon suggests (in The Mozart Companion) may have been a model for Mozart’s four horn concertos.

Rossler is also known for writing a Requiem (1776) which was performed at a memorial for Mozart in December 1791.  Rossler died at Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Ludwigslust in the service of the Duke Friedrich Franz I on June 30, 1792, at the age of 42 years.  The occasional disambiguation with a supposed, but non-existent, “Antonio Rosetti born 1744 in Milan,” is due to an error by Ernst Ludwig Gerber in a later edition of his Tonkünstler-Lexikon, having mistaken Rossler for an Italian in the first edition of his own Lexikon, and therefore including Rossler/Rosetti twice, once as an Italian, once as a German-Czech.  Attributing some music to Rossler is difficult because several other composers with similar names worked at the same time, including Franciscus Xaverius Antonius Rössler.

My CD collection includes the following work by Franz Anton Rössler :

Flute Concerto in d minor.

Roberts Schoolhouse, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS


roberts MS

Roberts Schoolhouse

University of Southern Mississippi

118 College Drive

Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hidden in the center courtyard of Owings-McQuagge Hall on the Southern Miss campus is a piece of Mississippi history many people may not know exists. It’s Roberts Schoolhouse — a one-room, wood-frame schoolhouse from the late 1800s that was moved to the University of Southern Mississippi in 1981.  The College of Education and Human Sciences is housed in the hall.  The schoolhouse was established in the Arena community of northeast Jackson County by Richard Roberts in 1899. Not much is known about Roberts, but his schoolhouse prospered until 1921, serving male and female students in grades 1-12.  It was eventually moved to Southern Miss, piece by piece, board by board, at a cost of $10,000 — an extraordinary expense, since the schoolhouse cost only $79 to build.  M.M. Roberts, of Southern Miss stadium fame and of the Roberts family, provided the support to move the schoolhouse.  It now serves as a tangible learning experience for Southern Miss education students and for various community groups who occasionally tour it.  College and university campuses are no strangers to one-room schoolhouses. There are 34 known to be on campuses across the United States. Roberts Schoolhouse appears to be the only one on a Mississippi campus.  Ironically, a college campus was probably foreign to the teacher at Roberts Schoolhouse.

The teacher had to have an eighth-grade education. The only qualification was for the teacher to go to the courthouse and read a paragraph saying she could make the kids mind.   The teacher did have to observe a strict dress code.  Clothing had to cover everything but the hands and face. High-necked clothing was the rule.  There were other restrictions, too.  The teacher had to be single, couldn’t ride in an automobile unless with her father or brother, couldn’t be out after dark and often stayed at the house of one of her students’ families.  If a female teacher married, she had to quit her job, because then her most important task became taking care of the household for her husband.  School hours were from 10-2 everyday, to make sure the students had time to perform morning and evening chores. Tasks such as milking the cow, feeding the chickens and pigs, gathering eggs, carrying in wood and bringing in water were common.  A typical day started out with girls lining up on the left and boys on the right.  A prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance would be recited.  The lines and their configuration were important, because they dictated which side of the schoolyard the boys and girls would relieve themselves. An old Sears Roebuck catalog was kept by the door — its pages used in lieu of toilet paper.

In most one-room schoolhouses, the school year was divided into two, six-month terms. Winter term could be difficult, if temperatures dropped, with cold winter air blowing through the cracks in the building. The only warm air in the room would be at the center, near the pot-bellied stove. Pupils seated farthest from the stove would freeze, while those closer would roast.  Heavy wool socks, designed to keep feet warm, caused much shuffling under the desks, as the wool tended to make toes itch.  At Roberts Schoolhouse, children only attended for six months of the year, with their teacher moving on to another school for the other months.  Students learned reading, writing and arithmetic, often sitting at a recitation bench at the front of the room to give their lessons. Tables, instead of desks, were the norm, with the youngest children sitting closest to the front.  Roberts Schoolhouse finally closed when one-room schoolhouses in Mississippi were consolidated into larger schools.

Franz Benda and the Flute Concerto in em


     Franz (František) Benda (baptized November 22, 1709 –March 7, 1786) was a Bohemian violinist and composer, who worked for much of his life at the court of Frederick the Great.  Benda was born around November 22, 1709, in Benátky nad Jizerou or Old Benatek in Bohemia, the son of Jan Jiří Benda. His brother was the composer Georg Benda.  In his youth Benda was a chorister in Prague and afterward in the Chapel Royal at Dresden. At the same time he began to study the violin, and soon joined a company of strolling musicians who attended fetes, fairs, etc.

At eighteen years of age Benda abandoned this wandering life and returned to Prague, then going to Vienna, where he pursued his study of the violin under Johann Gottlieb Graun, a pupil of Tartini. After two years he was appointed chapel master at Warsaw. In 1732, he entered the service of Frederick the Great, then crown prince of Prussia, with whom he remained the rest of his life. He was a member of the crown prince’s orchestra, and later became concertmaster to the king. He played about 50,000 concertos over a period of forty years. At Benda’s request, Frederick allowed his parents and siblings to move to Potsdam when, as Protestants, they suffered religious persecution in Bohemia.

Benda was a master of all the difficulties of violin playing, and the rapidity of his execution and the mellow sweetness of his highest notes were unequalled. He had many pupils and wrote a number of works, chiefly exercises and studies for the violin.  Benda wrote his autobiography in 1763: it not only gives a detailed account of his own life but also a valuable record of the lives of other musicians whom he encountered during his career.  Benda died on March 7, 1786, in the Nowawes, a small colony near Potsdam set up by Frederick the Great to house Protestant refugees fleeing religious persecution in Bohemia.

Descendants of Benda also continue in the same musical line. Benda’s daughter Juliane Reichardt (1752–1783) and his granddaughter Louise Reichardt (1779–1826) were also composers.  In the 20th century, František Benda was a composer of film scores and other works. The Benda Chamber Orchestra, which carries and honors the name of the Benda musical family, was founded in 1956 in Ústí nad Labem, Northern Bohemia (Czech Republic).  One of his descendants, Jean Sebastian Benda, acclaimed Swiss pianist, lived in Brazil, having married the pianist Luzia Benda. After his return to Europe, in 1981, along with his wife and children born in Brazil, his family follows the musical tradition of their ancestors.

The following work by Franz Benda is contained in my CD collection:

Flute Concerto in em

Yes, Homeschooling Works. I Would Know.

Yes, Homeschooling Works. I Would Know.
Dave Ellis, Newsweek (5/22/20)

As parents are adjusting to the new normal of school closures, many are finding that they and their kids actually enjoy homeschooling. A recent poll found that 40 percent of parents are likely to continue homeschooling, even after public schools reopen. Many education elites cannot fathom how parents without formal training in teaching could possibly provide a solid foundation for students.

Harvard Magazine notoriously wrote a recent piece against homeschooling as a valid school choice option. And even more recently, Dr. Michael Rebell, executive director of the ironically named Center for Education Equity, baselessly worried that homeschooling wouldn’t provide a foundation in civics. In an interview with John Stossel, Dr. Rebell said, “There is no guarantee that kids are learning democratic values [and] learning civic knowledge.” He further stated that civics is a part of a standard public school curriculum. Stossel then questioned whether students are actually learning and absorbing the material just because it’s in a curriculum and provided examples of civics test questions posed to public school students where a large majority answered incorrectly.

But the evidence of homeschool success is overwhelming, in the aggregate. I also want to share with skeptics, like Dr. Rebell, my own personal story. My wife and I have homeschooled three since 1987.

Read more:–biH8M

Roberts’ School House, Wayne County Historical Museum, Richmond, IN


old roberts 2

Roberts’ School House

Wayne County Historical Museum

1150 North A Street

Richmond, Indiana 47374

Rebekah Roberts was born on August 8, 1787, in Union Co., South Carolina, to Thomas and Nancy Ann (Whitson) Roberts. She married Nathan Hawkins (b. 1782), the son of Nathan and Ann (Cook) Hawkins, on November 26, 1807 in Warren Co., Ohio, and the pair had ten children in Wayne Co., Indiana.  In 1812, Nathan and Rebekah entered a claim with the United States government near Webster, Indiana, or Dover, a small town north and west of the early settlement of Quakers which is now Richmond, and intended to build a cabin on their 40 acres of land.  Shortly after the family settled near Webster, the War of 1812–a conflict fought between the United States, Great Britain and their respective allies over maritime rights–broke out, and the British government began supplying individuals who raided pioneers’ homes and settlements on the American frontier. Savage Indians came through the Fountain City area. Because their farm was not safe, Nathan, Rebekah and their two children at the time sought refuge in Richmond, Indiana, with Rebekah’s brother, Thomas Roberts. There was not enough room in the farmhouse, though, for both Thomas’s and Rebekah’s families, so Nathan and Thomas built a separate cabin for the Hawkins family as a temporary shelter for the Hawkinses.  The men of the family felled these great logs, rived the shingles, made the walls weatherproof and hung a crude door so they might settle. There was no floor and apparently no window.

In February 2015, the War of 1812 ended, and the Hawkins family returned to their land claim in the north. After their house was vacated, a young man by the name of Robert Bratton came along who wanted to teach school. It was arranged that he should board with the Roberts and hold his school in the log house vacated by Nathan Hawkins. This is how it became one of the first school houses in Wayne County, if not the first school house in Richmond. This was long before free public schools were established. The Quaker settlement (Richmond) had no school so the family donated it for the first school house. It was used in 1813-14. The cabin still did not have a floor or a window. In 1840 builders added a wooden floor, chimney, and a ceiling. The school house was probably heated by a small wood fire in a large pot on three legs. The stove is from the 1850s.  Some years later the log house was moved near the Roberts residence, where it was used for various purposes. This cabin is called the Roberts’ School House because for many years it stood on the corner of the Robert’s farm at the present intersection of South 14th and “A” Streets. By 1900, the Roberts’ family farm was well within Richmond’s city limits, and most of the land had been sold to residential developers; after Jonathan Roberts’ death in 1902, the Old Roberts’ Schoolhouse was given to the city, as well. A number of residents and local historians advocated for the restoration of the Schoolhouse, and one resident, Albert W. Reed, donated funds to move the cabin to Glenn Miller Park for its preservation.  The Old Roberts’ Schoolhouse was moved for a third and final time to the front lawn of the Wayne Co., Indiana, Historical Museum grounds in 1938. Guests can view the Hawkins family’s cabin-turned-schoolhouse and /read about the school’s history on a display inside the log cabin:

Sitting on one of the crude, backless, split-log lab benches, it is hard to imagine the voices of the children as they repeated the teacher’s words, teaching them by rote. This type of teaching was call a ‘Loud or Blab School.’  The students had few books, if any, and wrote on slates with slate pencils. Paper was expensive and hard to get. Students wrote with goose or turkey quill pens and homemade ink when paper was available. Students used whatever books their family might have and it was usually the Bible. A few school books were printed in the eastern states, but the McGuffy Readers (1836), printed in Ohio, became the United States’ most influential school books until the 20th century.  The teacher punished naughty children in several ways. One was by seating them in the coldest part of the room. Other punishments were to face the corner or to feel the whack of the paddle or hickory stick. Dunce caps were not used until 1893.  Teacher’s helpers were the older boys. They would come early to chop the fire wood and fill the water buckets. Every one drank from the same dipper which helped to spread colds, measles, scarlet fever, whooping cough, mumps, and cholera. School terms were only a few months. Teachers’ salaries came from a fee paid by the parents.

Home School Book Review news for July, 2020

Home School Book Review Blog ( ) is the place to go for over 3,700 book reviews, primarily of children’s and youth literature both old and new, from a Biblical worldview.

Books reviewed in June of 2020 include:

June 30, 2020–Children of the River

June 26, 2020–Randolph the Christmas Moose: A Yuletide Fable of Empowerment

June 25, 2020–Harry, The Wild West Horse

June 23, 2020–Walls of Babylon: Disney Prince of Persia, The Young Dastan Chronicles Book 1

June 20, 2020–To the Survivors: One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence

June 18, 2020–White Ruff

June 15, 2020–The Gorax: An Anti-Environmentalist Parody by Dr. Truth

June 14, 2020–The Magic Home: A Displaced Boy Finds a Way to Feel Better

June 12, 2020–Graveyard Shift: A Hauntings Novel

June 11, 2020–Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mayhem from Moon Palace

June 10, 2020–The Sagebrush Rebellion

June 4, 2020–Two Teaspoons of Rice: A Memoir of a Cambodian Orphan

June 3, 2020–Five-Finger Discount

The winner for our Book of the Month Award in June, 2020

white ruff

White Ruff by Glen Balch

Books which we are currently reading and will be reviewed in the near future are:

Darcy’s WildLife #5: The Play’s the Thing by Sierra Harimann

Glimpses of Eternity by Paul Earnhart

The Ghost in the Picture by Meg Schneider

Weasel by Cynthia DeFelice

Remember Home School Book Review at

Luigi Gianella and his Concerto lugubre


     Luigi (spelling of the first name also Louis, Luis, or Lodovico) Gianella (before 1778–around 1817) was a composer and flautist, probably from Italy, who worked at La Scala in Milan, and whose curious Concerto lugubre patently links his two compositional fields—those of the theatre (opera and ballet) with flute instrumental music, which includes two other flute concertos. Little is known of Gianella’s origin and early life.  And the rest of his life is only partially known. Presumably originating from Italy, he was first mentioned in 1790 when he performed two Balli at the Scala in Milan, which is why the frequently cited year of birth 1778 seems unreliable. He was quoted as rinomato professore di flauto on the libretto print of his scenic cantata Arianna in Nasso , which was believed to be lost in 1800.

On the occasion of a funeral service for Domenico Cimarosa , a flute concerto, the Concerto lugubre for flute and orchestra, was performed by Gianella in January 1801. Shortly thereafter he moved to Paris, France, where he became solo flautist in various theaters in the city, such as the “Théâtre de la rue de la Victoire.”  In 1803, his first opera L’officier cosaque premiered in Paris.  Gianella composed several operas and ballets. He has also handed down numerous compositions for the flute, including several concertos and chamber music, such as a quartet for 4 flutes in G major, op. 52. He died at Paris around 1817.

My CD collection includes the following work by Luigi Gianella:

Concerto lugubre for flute and orchestra

Lordstown Historical Society one-room school house, Lordstown (Warren), OH


Lordstown OH

Lordstown Historical Society one-room school house

1685 Salt Springs Road

Lordstown (Warren), OH

From horse-drawn buses to yearbooks, the one-room school house in Lordstown, OH, shows how education in the village has changed.   Students attended one-room schoolhouses in Lordstown from 1830 through 1916.  Seven one-room schoolhouses once existed in Lordstown.  The Lordstown Historical Society one-room schoolhouse in Lordstown, next to the fire department, has pictures and newspaper clippings that hang on the walls.  On one of the items is a 1945 class graduation picture from Lordstown High School. There were 12 girls and six boys in that graduating class.  Other items inside the Lordstown schoolhouse are clothing from the early 1900s and mail-sorting boxes from the Lordstown Post Office, which closed in 1900.  One of the biggest draws inside the schoolhouse is on a table near the front door, which has Lordstown High School yearbooks dating back to 1946.  A lot of people are surprised by the amount of history and memorabilia that the museum has. The schoolhouse is owned by the village but is maintained by the Lordstown Historical Society. It still has its original floors and over the years it’s been used as a school, a home, a craft store, and now a museum.  It is hoped that as the members of the history society become older, the younger generations in Lordstown step in to keep the schoolhouse open.