From the fall of 1793 to the spring of 1794, General Anthony Wayne erected Fort Greenville on the western frontier of the Northwest Territory. The historic "Treaty of Greenville" was made here in 1796. The fort burned later in 1796, and the present city of Greenville, OH, the seat of Darke County, was laid out on this site in 1808. In 1840, Abraham Studabaker donated land now lying along Ohio State Route 49, three miles south of the original site of Fort Greenville, for construction of a schoolhouse. The first brick schoolhouse in Darke County, OH, was erected there, about 1846. The Studabakers deeded the building to School District 14 in 1860 and to the Greenville Township Board of Education in 1869. It was known as the Studabaker School and also the Beehive School. The schoolhouse was presented to the Fort GreeneVille Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution by Frank Travis Conckling and was restored with financial aid from the Works Progress Administration. Restoration was completed in 1957. Rededication services were held in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebration. The schoolhouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It is currently used by the local D. A. R. organization. When we lived in Dayton, OH, from 1987 to 2002, we visited Greenville many times and often drove past this school building.
The Little Red Schoolhouse, located at 73 S. Professor St. is the oldest building in Oberlin, OH, and the only one known to have survived from the city’s first decade. Built as a one room school house in 1837, it was replaced in 1858 and has been moved three times since its erection, serving as a home and a tailor shop. After being restored by Cliff Barden in 1958, it was taken by the Oberlin Historical and Improvement Organization in 1968 and became a musseum filled with varied relics of nineteenth-century public education, serving as a reminder of simpler days. We lived in Medina, OH, from 1980 to 1987, and had occasion to pass through Oberlin a few times, although I do not recall having seen the Little Red Schoolhouse.
The Currier and Ives print Across the Continent: "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way" was painted in 1868 by British-American artist Frances (Fanny) Flora Bond Palmer (c. 1812-1876). Ewell L. Newman, a Currier and Ives specialist, said, "It is likely that during the latter half of the nineteenth century more pictures by Mrs. Fanny Palmer decorated the homes of ordinary Americans than those of any other artist, dead or alive." HYer work also appeared on books, calendars, and greeting cards. It is estimated that she did over 200 scenes for Currier and Ives, but she did not always sign her work. We saw an original print of this pictrue on display in an exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library while on a visit to Springfield, IL, in the summer of 2007. The one-roon log building towards the front is labeles "Public School." This popular print extols the idea of American progress, and putting the school in front symbolizes the importance of education to that progress.
Pass Creek School is located at 3747 Pass Creek Rd., Belgrade, MT 59714, in Gallatin County. Robin Hoffman, Editor of Country Magazine, wrote in the Aug./Sept., 2007, edition of the magazine, "Hunkered in the shadow of the Bridger Mountains 25 miles north of Bozemann [MT], Pass Creek School looks like the classic one-room schoolhouse every country kid in America once attended. In 1918, there were more than 190,000 one-room schools in the U. S. We hae about 400 today, and with less than 1 million people spread over 147,000 square miles, Montana accounts for one fourth" (p. 16). The original Pass Creek school building burned down in the 1950s, but the citizens moved the current building down from the mountains and kept going. When the article was written, there were fourteen students, from kindergarten to eighth grade. Miss Lauren Wing taught grades K-3, and Mrs. Sid Rider taught grades 4-6. Patty Larios taught band in the new community center across the road. Hoffman noted, "Seems to me they’re also noticeably less…squirrely, let’s say, than a typical roomfull of grade-school kids. The younger ones look up to the older ones; the older ones take the responsibility seriously. And they’re a lot of fun to be around, even for a cranky old editor" (p. 17). After graduation, the students go to high school in Manhattan.
The schoolhouse in Lincoln’s New Salem was originally the "Hard Shell" Baptist Church, located about a half-mile southwest of the village of New Salem, IL, where Abraham Lincoln lived and worked as a young man. Mentor Grahamaaaaaa, athe village schoolmaster, received permission to use the church as a school. He circulated a petition for interested parents to sign up their children. He taught reading, writing, and ciphering (arithmetic). Mr. Graham ran a subscription school, and received his pay in goods such as corn, wheat, firewood, chickens, and meat. His school was called a "blab school" because the students learned by repeating their lessons out loud, over and over. People reported that the sounds from the school could heard a mile away. This is the only building on sige that was not originally located in the village. This reconstruction was moved to New Salem in 1968. We visited Lincoln’s New Salem, outside of Springfield, IL, a couple of years ago while on vacation and enjoyed it very much.
The Moonshine Store: No, I’m not going to tell you where you can purchase moonshine! Moonshine is a little community in east central Illinois, south of Casey. It was named from the reflection of the moon in a puddle of water (so they say!!!!!). When we come across interesting historical sites, I try to report them for others who might be interested. The Moonshine Store is not a "historical site" per se, but it is a slice out of history. The store was founded in 1889 by William St. Martz. The original building was located just north of the present site, but when it burned, a new store was built in 1912 at the current location. The store has served as a gathering place, a grocery store, and a place for farmers and oil field workers to come for lunch. Enid Misner was the first to start making cold cut sandwiches and hamburgers. Helen and Roy Lee Tuttle bought the store from Enid in 1982 and added a variety of other sandwiches. Until the early 1990s, the hamburgers were cooked on small electric griddles. The first gas grill replaced them in 1993 and a second grill was added in 2004. A friend drove us past the store back in 2004 when we were visiting in the area, but the grill closes at 12:30 so we didn’t eat there the. However, on our way home recently from a trip to Indiana, we decided to leave early enough to stop in for lunch. The hamburgers were excellent, and Jeremy said that the hot dog was really good too. Bottled drinks, chips, and other snacks are also available. The Moonshine Store is located at 6017 E. 300th Rd., Martinsville, IL 62442; phone: (618) 569-9200. It is not easy to get to, but it is worth the effort!
Good reading: The Aug./Sept., 2009, issue of Home Educator’s Family Times: American’s Leading Homeschool and Family Newspaper ( www.homeEducator.com/FamilyTimes ) has interesting articles by Naomi Aldort about "How Children Learn (and Don’t Learn) Manners, Barbara Curtis on "A Parent’s Advice on How to Raise Responsible, Hard-Working Kids," Barb Frank on "When Kids Use the Internet for Research," by Rachel Gaathercole on "Swimming and Schooling," Karen Andreola on "Living Books for the Mind and Heart," and Lisa Russell on "The Trap of Choosing a Homeschooling ‘Method,’" plus an excerpt from Linda Dobson’s book The FIrst Year of Homeschooling Your Child, commentary be Deborah Stevenson of National Home Education Legal Defense about the dangers to parental rights in the Health Care Bill, and Todd Wilson’s homeschool humor.
Oh, and did you know?: The American Bar Association House of Delegates has approved a resolution calling on Congress to repeal a section of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, that denies federal marital benefits and protections to same-gender couples married in states where it’s legal.
"The Last Day of School" was painted by Marie Fox. "For any child the last day of school means that fun and play await. We can still hear the cheers of these children from a century ago as they gleefully dash toward freedom. One grabs his bike, another kicks skyward from the blossoming apple tree swing." Marie grew up near the Bluefish River. Sailing a red catboat she took in visual stimulation from the historic structures of Duxbury, MA, and a landscape painted by the seasons. She began her folk art paintings in 1985 after ten years in Southern California as an art restorer and quiltmaker, professions which trained her in patience and precision. On returning home to New England, she was newly entranced by its history, weather, whimsical architecture, and intimate spaces. She says, "When painting an image, I live in its world where meaningful details speak to my senses. I can retrieve a childlike quality which animates these small dramas. I try for a story frame which rewards many viewings and hope my work will create a sense of well-being as it reminds viewers of their own favorite people, places, and times. I have that same feeling in creating it." Copies of the print are available for sale at www.mariefox.com/print_details.cfm/pid/3039 .