Hancock Point School, Hancock, ME

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Hancock Point School

644 Point Road

Hancock, Maine

The Hancock Point School is a historic former one-story, one-room school building set in a rural area along one of the main town roads at 644 Point Road in South Hancock, Maine. Built c. 1870 by George Young, who also gave half of the land on which it stands, this wood frame one-room schoolhouse is a single-story wood frame structure, with a front gable roof, weatherboard siding, minimal exterior ornamentation, and a foundation of stone piers. It is set on a large (more than 5-acre) parcel of land on the east side of Point Road, which also includes a c. 1980s private residence. Its main facade has a centered doorway with a transom window, and an opening for a small sash window in the gable above. The side elevations have two pairs each of sash windows, and the rear elevation has a window in the gable, and a doorway leading into an attached shed-roof garage. The main entrance opens into a small vestibule area, which has doors to either side leading into the classroom space. That space has vertical bead board wainscoting, with horizontal bead board paneling above and on the ceiling. The floors are maple, a replacement for original pine floors. The space includes original fixtures, including desks, benches, and electric lighting dating to 1937

The town of Hancock had eight school districts during the 19th century. Although most of the other neighborhood district schools closed in the early 20th century, this school, which served district #2, l continued educating local children until the eve of World War II, and remained in service until 1941, when the town completed the consolidation of all of its district schools based on a state mandate.  It is the town’s only surviving district schoolhouse, is now privately owned, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.   The Hancock Point School is eligible for nomination to the National Register at the local level of significance under Criterion A for its association with patterns of rural schooling in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Maine, and under Criterion C as a good example of a type of educational facility that was once common throughout the state. The period of significance commences with the construction of the school in 1870, and ends in 1940 when the last classes were held in the building.

Szilagyi Center (Rowlesburg High School), Rowlesburg, WV

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Szilagyi Center (Rowlesburg High School)

20 Buffalo Street

Rowlesburg, WV 26425

The Szilagyi Center for the Visual and Performing Arts (formerly Rowlesburg High School) is a community center in Rowlesburg, West Virginia, which is owned and operated by the Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee, Inc.  The building has been renovated and currently houses the WWII Museum, River City Cafe, B&O Bridge exhibit, Emporium Antiques & Collectibles, Carolann Hooton Reading & Research Library, Riverbend Art Studio, and Preston County Sports Museum.  There are rooms available to rent for business opportunities. There is also internet service in the building. The Szilagyi Center Gym and Fitness Room are open to the community.  Patrons can walk around the perimeter of the gym, work out on the machines in the fitness room, do simple stretching exercises, lift small weights, etc.  This is a community service, and there’s no charge.

Mullins School, Rock, WV

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Mullins School

In  Mercer County

Rock, WV

In a small Browning-Lambert Mountain community above Montcalm in Mercer County, WV, a one-room schoolhouse known as Mullins School that possibly predates West Virginia itself stands on a ridge overlooking the mountainous landscape and was recently discovered under the guise of a barn.  Old-timers on the mountain knew about it. Property owner Brian Pigg and his father, Nelson, knew about it.  But the structure’s existence didn’t become widely known until 2014 when Brian began dismantling the school’s guise — sheets of tin metal and boards attached to the outside of the structure that gave it the appearance of a barn — revealing the huge, hand-hewn chestnut logs beneath, preserved from the elements.  Some initials were inscribed on the outside of the 20-by-18-foot building and on the backrest of a lone desk that remained inside.The building had been hiding in plain sight. Nelson estimated the schoolhouse has probably been used as a barn for about 100 years. It was still used to store hay until recently. Probably, when this was built, either it was still in Tazewell County (Virginia), or it was just a few years into Mercer County.  Mercer County, Virginia, was formed in 1837 from parts of Giles and Tazewell counties.  Mercer County became part of West Virginia when the new state was admitted into the Union on June 20, 1863.

The property was sold to a James H. Mullins.  The date for that transaction was April 13, 1887. Mullins bought it from somebody named A.J. Young.  The deed indicated Mullins purchased the 220-acre plot, including the school, for $1,425.  The paper trail picks up again in 1900, when Susannah Mullens, presumed to be the wife of James H. Mullins, began selling the property off in pieces. It is thought that Susannah’s last name may have been misspelled on official documents when the property was signed into her name.  The Mullins School was replaced by two others. The Browning School was a two-room schoolhouse on a lot adjacent to the Mullins School, built in or before 1910on stilts on a steep incline.  The Lambert School was built a mile and a half away to serve students on the other side of the mountain. Those two schools were later recombined into a two-room brick structure called the Browning-Lambert School that still stands today. The Mullins School could be the oldest standing one-room schoolhouse in West Virginia

The big question still remains: Exactly how old is Mullins School? Nelson Pigg hopes to narrow down the date of the school’s construction by clearing the hay out of the building and searching the dirt floor.  In the meantime, the Piggs are still weighing their options over what to do with the building, which is made of valuable chestnut logs. A blight began eradicating Chestnut trees to extinction around 1904. Its resiliency to rotting and limited availability makes it one of the most sought-after woods in the world.  Brian Pigg wants to build a garage where the schoolhouse is located. The Piggs said they are open to selling the building to a party that would be interested in relocating it, and would provide ample time for relocating the building.

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Uler One Room School, Uler, WV

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Uler One Room School

In Roane County

Uler, West Virginia

Uler is an unincorporated community in Roane County, West Virginia, 17 miles southeast of Spencer.  The original application for the post office contained the suggestion Eulah, but a postal error accounts for the error in spelling, which was never corrected. The last one room school in the area still stands at Uler.

Hancock Central Elementary School, Hancock, MA

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Hancock Central Elementary School

3080 Hancock Rd.

Hancock, MA 01237

Hancock Central Elementary School is a small, dedicated, rural public school serving grades Pre-K through Grade 6 located at 3080 Hancock Road in Hancock, Massachusetts. The Hancock School is Pre-K through 6th grade school with approximately 40 to 48 students.  Surrounded by natural beauty, the school is central to the community, and parents are actively involved in many aspects of the school. The community is also involved in much that is done, including bottle drives to fund special school programs and the Thanksgiving meal the school prepares and serves to the elderly population of Hancock. All classrooms except for the sixth grade classroom contain two grade levels, and each room is given the name of a precious stone (e.g. the Ruby Room).  Hancock school also has a Pre-K classroom called “Cricket Cove.”

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine–Helen Coal Camp School, Beckley, WV

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine Helen Coal Camp School

513 Ewart Ave.

Beckley, WV 25801

The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, originally known as the Phillips-Sprague Mine, is a historic coal mine located at New River Park in Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia.   The mine opened about 1889 on what had been operated as a drift mine. Commercial development of the drift mine began in 1905 and the first coal was shipped on January 4, 1906. Mine operations ceased in 1953, and the property sold to the City of Beckley. The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine opened in 1962, as the first historic site wholly dedicated to educating the public about coal mining. It consists of 1,500 feet of restored passageways and entries with 3,000 feet of vintage track and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.  As a preserved coal mine that offers daily tours and a history lesson on coal mining in Appalachia, it reopened to the public on April 1, 2008.

Visitors can tour the underground mine, visit the Coal Camp, the Youth Museum, and the Gift Shop stocked with West Virginia items and freshly made fudge in a variety of flavors. The hands-on exhibitions and underground coal mining tour offer wonderful opportunities for our visitors to learn, explore, interact and share. At the Exhibition Coal Mine, one can ride through the dark passages of a vintage coal mine. The guides are veteran miners and provide firsthand accounts of the daily responsibilities and travail of past and present day miners.  Adjacent to the Exhibition Mine, the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia is open to the public year round and available at any time for pre-arranged tour groups. The Youth Museum’s central exhibit area features an average of three different interactive exhibits yearly.  Group tours include a visit to the Museum’s Planetarium.  Seasonal programs highlight constellations, visible planets and special celestial events.  Behind the Museum’s main building, stands the Mountain Homestead.  Developed to enrich history studies, the Museum has recreated a typical settlement on the Appalachian frontier. In addition to the Mine, one can tour these period coal camp buildings situated throughout the grounds.  Lovingly restored, the Coal Company House, Superintendent’s Home, Pemberton Coal Camp Church, and the Helen Coal Camp School, give visitors a true representation of early 20th century coal camp life.  Trained interpreters explain the importance of each of the eight reconstructed historical buildings, including the weaver’s, the log house, and the one room schoolhouse where children experienced “readin’, writn’, and ‘rithmatic’” as it used to be.  The barn, blacksmith shop, and general store all help to complete this rich historical journey of the late 19th century.

In the early 1900’s, most people were educated in rural (country) or small town schools. However, children who were born and lived in the rich coalfields of West Virginia would have attended a one or two room coal field school.  The Exhibition Mine school building was originally constructed as a two room school, but as enrollment declined it became a one room school.  The school was built in 1925 up a hollow called Berry Branch in Helen, West Virginia. It served black children that lived in the coal camp. In the coal camp during this time period there were two school buildings one for the white children and one for the black children. The size of the buildings was determined by population. The school buildings were owned by the coal company and the schools were run by the board of education. Only residents of the coal camp were allowed to attend the schools that were owned by the coal company. As the focal points of the City’s lovely New River Park, the Exhibition Coal Mine and the Museum draw thousands of people to the area annually.  The unique underground mine, the recreated coal camp, the Youth Museum and the Mountain Homestead are surrounded by inviting lawns, colorful flowers, picnic areas, an imposing coal miner statue and a whimsical 20 ft. “Peace Totem.”  One price encompasses all activities at both the Exhibition Mine and the Youth Museum. Group rates are available. Reservations are required for groups of 15 or more.  Walk-in tourists are always welcome.

The Study of History

The Study of History

By Dr. James Stobaugh

[Editor’s note:  Are you a fan of history? There’s just something about studying and learning about past events that is exciting, whether it’s finding out interesting facts of daily life, or learning principles from history to apply to modern circumstances, or just studying world events.  In this article below, Dr. James Stobaugh provides an interesting perspective on the study of history and some of the ways that history itself impacts our study of it.   WSW.]

The times in which we live require a new look at history.  History, of course, never changes.  But we do.  Each generation looks rewrites history, so to speak, in light of its present circumstances. For instance, I bet American history books would have a far different perspective on radical Islam pre-Sept. 11, 2001 than history books written post-September 11, 2001!

The writing of history is the selection of information and the synthesis of this information into a narrative that will stand the critical eye of time. History, though, is never static. One never creates the definitive theory of a historical event.

History invites each generation to reexamine its own story and to reinterpret past events in light of present circumstances.

The creation of this story is more difficult than it seems. From the beginning the historian is forced to decide what sort of human motivation matters most: Economic? Political? Religious? Social?

For instance, what causes the American Revolution?

Read more:

The Study of History