Pleasant Grove School, Owensboro, KY



Pleasant Grove School

5160 Wayne Bridge Road

Owensboro, KY

Pleasant Grove School is a former one-room school house that now stands in Panther Creek Park near Owensboro, KY. It is believed to be the oldest one-room schoolhouse still standing in the state of Kentucky. It was built in 1876 on ground donated by JP Crabtree. His daughter, Ethel Crabtree Ford, was one of the first students to attend. Subsequently, Mr. George Thompson donated an equal adjoining parcel of land to establish Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.  Attendence ranged from 15 to 30 students, some walking as much as two miles to attend. All eight grades were taught, but due to restraints, the 7th and 8th grades were alternately omitted.  The school was closed in 1937 upon the completion of Sorgo Consolidated Elementary not too far away and was used as residence for the school custodian for several years. The Pleasant Grove School was moved to Panther Creek Park in 1996. In 1998, the building was restored thanks to the Daviess County Fiscal Court, Mrs. William (Carrie Lee) Kuegel, the Pleasant Grove Restoration Committee comprising of former Pleasant Grove student-teachers, the Daviess County Parks staff, and many special friends.  There is a historical marker that is attached to the schoolhouse, which gives the story of the school.

Witherbee School, Middletown, RI



Witherbee School

Green End Ave.

Middletown, RI 02842

The Witherbee School is a school house on Green End Avenue in Middletown, Rhode Island. It is a small 1-1/2 story gable-roofed structure of modest Queen Anne style, set upon a foundation of rubble-stone and mortar, with a projecting section topped by a two-story bell tower. The exterior is of decoratively patterned and plain wood shingles.There are two entrances (one each for boys and girls), leading to separate vestibules, which then lead into the single classroom. The vestibule areas were altered to accommodate indoor plumbing facilities sometime before 1940. The present Witherbee Schoolhouse is the third or fourth schoolhouse situated in the Bailey’s Brook Valley, on the northeast corner of Valley Road and Green End Avenue. There is no documentation, though evidence suggests a school in this area about 1819, known as the “Alley’ (perhaps a misspelling of “valley”) School District. Another schoolhouse was built in 1840 but not well attended; it was “small, old and uncomfortable” and only ten or twelve of the District’s twenty-eight school age children attended with any regularity. The present site was conveyed to Middletown School District No. 2 by the then land-owner, Sophia Witherbee, in 1891. The 1892 “Witherbee” schoolhouse was built by Joseph Coggeshall at a cost of $1,975 and paid for by a special levy on the District Two taxpayers. This building was destroyed by fire in 1907 and immediately rebuilt, on the 1892 foundation, to the same design, by John R. Coggeshall, son of Joseph, at a cost of $3,500: this time paid for by a general levy on all town taxpayers.  It closed in the 1940s, and is now run by the Middletown Historical Society as an educational center.  In 1988 the Middletown Historical Society acquired the property from the Town of Middletown on a 99-year lease and it has been carefully restored to its original appearance but with some modern amenities  The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.   This one room schoolhouse was preserved for use as an interpretive center on the history of education in Middletown. Hundreds of elementary school children visit the school each year as part of a special history curriculum sponsored by the Middletown Historical Society. The program is entitled, “Those Dear Old Golden Rule Days.”

I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.

I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.

by Kyle Wiens (July 20, 2012)

[Editor’s note–Jean Hall wrote: An interesting article by someone who owns/runs two companies. My kids call me “Grammar Nazi” (although I prefer the much cooler moniker “Grammar Ninja”), but they would at least be prepared for a job interview at these companies.]

If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.

Some might call my approach to grammar extreme, but I prefer Lynne Truss’s more cuddly phraseology: I am a grammar “stickler.” And, like Truss — author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves — I have a “zero tolerance approach” to grammar mistakes that make people look stupid.

Read more:

Lanesfield School, Edgerton, KS



Lanesfield School

18745 S. Dillie Rd.

Edgerton, KS 66021

The Lanesfield Historic Site is located at 18745 S Dillie Rd. in Edgerton, KS.  The limestone schoolhouse, the last remaining structure in the former town of Lanesfield, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The site includes the original schoolhouse, four outbuildings, and a modern visitors center with an exhibit, gift store, and restrooms.  The site also features seven interpretive panels on the grounds between the visitors center and the schoolhouse that tell more about the site and its history.  An accompanying audio tour can be found here.  Visitors to the Lanesfield Historic Site can learn about the history of education in Kansas and Johnson County by touring in the visitor center. A rural educational system dominated small Kansas communities until the mid-20th century.  The typical school day, the curriculum, and the role most schoolhouses played in the larger community, along with the lives of teachers and students, are all featured in sections about boarding, the school day, and graduation.  Visitors may also learn about General James H. Lane, the town’s namesake, follow the restoration of the Lanesfield School, and see artifacts that survived the 1903 fire,  Adjacent to the Lanesfield Historic Site, on property owned by Kansas City Power & Light, is a large picnic shelter and a short nature trail with an observation tower that visitors can explore.

Paradise School, Middletown, RI



Paradise School

Paradise and Prospect Avenues

Middletown, RI 02840

The circa 1875 one-room Paradise Schoolhouse, located on the corner of the adjacent Paradise Valley Park in Middletown, RI, and restored for use as the Middletown Historical Society’s headquarters, represents a unique opportunity to examine the evolution of a school building through over one hundred years of technological advancement.  The 4th School District bought one-third of an acre from the Whitman family for $450 on August 30, 1875. The deed included the right to the loose stones along the wall; also, “there must be a good and lawful fence around the property and the crops that were then growing on the land be allowed to ripen and be harvested.” The property is recorded in the Town Hall as lot 99, Plate 120.  Mr. Joseph Coggeshall was contracted to build the schoolhouse for $2,394. The building was to measure 38 feet long, 25 feet wide and 15 feet high.  The present Paradise School, built in 1875, has remained virtually untouched through the years. The first class in Paradise School was conducted on December 20, 1875, by Peleg Taylor Coggeshall.  The building is a classic one-room country school edifice. It is of wood, “balloon” construction, consisting of a one-room, one- story, bracketed style structure with bell tower, two separate entries in the gable end with bracketed hoods, flanking a joined pair of windows. A small brick chimney rises near the rear. Bracketed hoods protect the side windows.  The exterior of the building is painted in its original yellow with brown trim and green doors. The bell tower, blown down in the 1954 hurricane, was meticulously reproduced and replaced. The original school bell, mysteriously missing for many years, was found and re-hung. Original inside woodwork, plaster, shutters and blackboards are in place. Original ceiling lights from another old schoolhouse replaced the modern fluorescent lighting.

This single building illustrates the conversion from a wood and coal pot-bellied stove, to a coal, then oil fired hot water, central heating system, to today’s oil-fired, hot air central system; interior plumbing replacing the outdoor “privies’ and drinking water drawn from a well in tin pails with a communal ladle; and from natural daylight to electric light for illumination. The original classroom had a platform at the front (east end) to elevate the teacher’s desk and a raised platform in the rear (west end) to allow the children to reach the bookcases.  Paradise School served as a classroom until 1955, then as a school administration office and storehouse, until vacated by the school department. In 1976 it was acquired by the newly formed Middletown Historical Society. The Society has restored the building for use as a Society headquarters and as a small museum, and it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Paradise School has numerous displays relating to the history of the town, including a Rhode Island doll collection, cannon balls from the Revolution, Native American stones and many photographs and is open to the public Sundays from 2:00 until 4:00 pm during the months of July through September.

C.L. Walther Boer and “Wihelmus van Nassouwe”


Coenraad Lodewijk Walther Boer (September 2, 1891 – March 15, 1984) was a Dutch music pedagogue, musicologist, composer, and conductor .  Boer was born at The Hague, Netherlands, on September 2 1891.  His parents were Richard Constant Boer, a professor at Oudnoors , and Helena Johanna Walther. He grew up in a musical family. After his education at the Barlaeus Gymnasium in Amsterdam, he studied at the Amsterdam School of Music with Daniel de Lange, Julius Röntgen, and Bernard Zweers, and in the cellolas of Isaac Mossel . In 1910 he did his final exams and in 1912 he obtained the Prix d’Excellence for cello playing. After this he was solo cellist in the Orchestra of the Casino Municipal in Nice and the Latvijas Nacionālais Simfoniskais Orķestris in Riga. He married Micheline Louise Caroline Bröcker on October 9, 1915. They had three sons and a daughter.

During the First World War, Boer was stationed in Zeeland.  Occasionally he could perform as a cellist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest, and the Arnhemsche Orkestvereeniging . In the latter orchestra he was cello soloist and second conductor after the mobilization. In 1919 and 1920 he was short-term director of the Concert Association Haarlem’s Muziekkorps, the forerunner of the Haarlem Orchestra Association (HOV). On September 15, 1920, he was appointed reserve officer of the infantry as chapel master of the Royal Military Chapel (KMK) in The Hague. He brought it to a high level, thanks in part to the arrival of many young musicians from other music bands that were dissolved in 1923. With the KMK he gave well-attended weekly concerts in the Haagse Bos, the Haagse Dierentuin, and the Diergaarde and Doelen in Rotterdam . He made many arrangements of symphonic music for wind band. With the KMK in 1926 Mr. Boer was appointed Knight in the order of Oranje Nassau.   One of his best known compositions was Colonel Verberne Marsch (1927).  In 1930 he was promoted to captain of the Grenadiers .

Also In 1930, the name of his mother was added to his surname by Royal Decree, so that from then on he was called C. L. Walther Boer. In 1932, he made the official arrangement of “Wilhelmus van Nassouwe,” usually known just as the “Wilhelmus” (Het Wilhelmus; English translation “The William”), the national anthem of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It dates back to at least 1572, making it the oldest known national anthem in the world.  The origins of the lyrics are uncertain. The “Wilhelmus” was first written some time between the start of the Eighty Years’ War in April 1568 and the Capture of Brielle on April 1, 1572. Soon after the war was finished it was said that either Philips of Marnix, a writer, statesman and former mayor of Antwerp, or Dirck Coornhert, a politician and theologian, wrote the lyrics. However, this is disputed as neither Marnix nor Coornhert ever mentioned that they wrote the lyrics, even though the song was immensely popular in their time.

The “Wilhelmus” originated in the Dutch Revolt, the nation’s struggle to achieve independence from the Spanish Empire. It tells of the Father of the Nation, William of Orange who was stadholder in the Netherlands under the King of Spain. In the first person, as if quoting himself, William speaks to the Dutch people about both the revolt and his own, personal struggle: to be faithful to the king, without being unfaithful to his conscience: to serve God and the Dutch people. In the lyrics William compares himself with the biblical David who serves under the tyrannical king Saul. As the merciful David defeats the unjust Saul and is rewarded by God with the kingdom of Israel, so too William hopes to be rewarded a kingdom. Both the “Wilhelmus” and the Dutch Revolt should be seen in the light of the 16th century Reformation in Europe and the resulting persecution of Protestants by the Spanish Inquisition in the Low Countries. Militant music proved very useful not only in lampooning Roman clerks and repressive monarchs but also in generating class transcending social cohesion. In successfully combining a psalmic character with political relevancy, the “Wilhelmus” stands as the pre-eminent example of the genre.  Recent research has mentioned Petrus Dathenus as a possible author of the text of the Dutch national anthem.  The complete text comprises fifteen stanzas. The anthem is an acrostic in which the first letters of the fifteen stanzas formed the name “Willem van Nassov” (a contemporary orthographic variant of Nassau). ‘

The melody of the “Wilhelmus” was borrowed from a well known Roman Catholic French song titled “Autre chanson de la ville de Chartres assiégée par le prince de Condé” or in short: “Chartres'”. This song ridiculed the failed Siege of Chartres in 1568 by the Huguenot (Protestant) Prince de Condé during the French Wars of Religion. However, the triumphant contents of the “Wilhelmus” are the opposite of the content of the original song, making it subversive at several levels. Thus, the Dutch Protestants had taken over an anti-Protestant song, and adapted it for their own agenda. In that way, the “Wilhelmus” was typical for its time, since It was common practice in the 16th century for warring groups to steal each other’s songs in order to rewrite them.  Even though the melody stems from 1568, the first known written down version of it comes from 1574, in the time the anthem was sung in a much quicker pace. It was sung on many official occasions and at many important events since the outbreak of the Dutch Revolt in 1568, such as the siege of Haarlem in 1573 and the ceremonial entry of the Prince of Orange into Brussels on September 18, 1578.  Dutch composer Adriaen Valerius recorded the current melody of the “Wilhelmus” in his “Nederlantsche Gedenck-clanck” in 1626, slowing down the melody’s pace, probably to allow it to be sung in churches. The current official version is the 1932 arrangement by Boer, when the “Wilhelmus” was recognized as the official national anthem.

In addition, from 1919 to 1945, Boer was a cello teacher at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.  At the wedding of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard in 1937, Boer – at the insistence of German diplomats and by order of his military superiors – conducted the Nazi Horst Wessellied, after Peter van Anrooy had refused this in principle. In 1938 he was promoted to professor of musicology at the Conservatory.  During the Second World War, Boer held the directorship of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague for some time because the Jewish director Sem Dresden had been dismissed. In 1942, Henk Badings took over, because Walther Boer had been taken as a Dutch soldier to a camp for prisoners of war in Poland, where he upheld the morale of his fellow sufferers by organizing joint musical performances. Immediately after the liberation he formed the Royal Military Chapel again, so that a then small ensemble could play for the Noordeinde Palace on July 7, 1945 at the entry of Queen Wilhelmina .

On April 30, 1946, Boer was appointed Inspector of Military Music at the Royal Netherlands Army and the Royal Netherlands Air Force. In this position he remained until May 1, 1963. He then received the honorary rank of titular brigadier general. He was also conductor of the Student Music Society Semper Crescendo in Leiden and various choirs in The Hague. From September 1, 1954, he was conductor of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Omroep Orkest of the Dutch Radio Union. Dr. C.L. Walther Boer was known as a formal and conservative man, who always used the doctor’s title and never his first names. He was an excellent orchestra trainer, whose preference was originally for conducting symphony orchestras . As a soldier, however, he came to stand for wind orchestra , with which he reached a very high level. As a result, he was of great importance for the development of harmony music in the Netherlands. He died at Lochem  in Gelderland, Netherlands, on  March 15, 1984.

My collection includes the following work by C.L. Walther Boer:

+Wihelmus van Nassouwe (arr.).

The Old Bailey Schoolhouse, Harrisville, Michigan



The Old Bailey Schoolhouse

Point Road

Harrisville, Michigan

The Alcona Historical Society of Harrisville, MI, was formed to preserve the rich history of the Alcona County area.  The society realizes the value of the past and its importance to future generations.  Members of the historical society provide educational tours and programs, including exciting opportunities for residents and visitors to explore and enjoy three museums: Sturgeon Point Lighthouse, Bailey School and the Lincoln Depot.  Built in 1907 of Norway pine, the Bailey School is one of the few remaining one-room, log schoolhouses still standing in Michigan. The school bell still rings from atop the roof to summon students of history and simpler times. It was built at the site of C.A. Johnson Logging Camp west of Mikado for the children of the logging crews. It bears the name of a lumberman who was part of the crew that built the school and who supervised moving it in 1913 to a site on F-30, where it served the community until 1941. Partially restored in 1973, the structure was disassembled, moved and restored in 1998 to its current Sturgeon Point State Park site. It is furnished with items used during its time, including a recitation bench, desks, drinking pail and dipper, and coal stove.