Port Republic School #7, Port Republic, MD



Port Republic School #7

3080 Broomes Island Road

Port Republic, MD 20676

​This original Port Republic School #7 schoolhouse was built on its present site circa 1868 and opened for children, grades 1 – 7, for families who lived in the Port Republic area of Calvert County, Maryland. What memories surround this little Southern Maryland school house. For over a hundred years it has stood in its shady grove on the grounds of Christ Church in Port Republic, Maryland. Here came the youth of Calvert County to sit at wooden desks, to open red and tan McGuffy Readers, to write on slates and to eat mid-day meals from tin lunch pails. Here during recess games of “Annie Over” and “Bug in the Gully,” they raced shouting over the sun-dappled play ground. Here a single, dedicated teacher taught reading, writing and arithmetic to seven grades of boys and girls in a classroom at times so crowded that the young students had to sit along the edge of the teacher’s platform or cram themselves into the aisles between the desks, their warm bodies supplementing the heat that in winter radiated from the iron chunk stove in the center of the room. The old school house remained in continuous use until the consolidation of schools in 1932, at which time it was closed, a victim of progress.  Abandoned and almost for gotten, it withstood the passing seasons. Colonies of bees sought refuge beneath its dilapidated roof and poison ivy crawled and wound over its neglected walls.

In 1957 the schoolhouse and its property were transferred to its present owner, Christ Church Parish.  The schoolhouse had suffered the ravages of time until 1976 when it was restored by the Calvert County Retired Teachers Association as a Bicentennial Year project.  On July 24, 1977, after months of hard work by teachers and community volunteers, the old school bell rang out once more and the little one-room school house, filled with its memories, memorabilia, and a video, was ready for visitors. Today groups of school children spend the day recreating a one-room school experience, including a walk through the woods to school and lessons taught as they would have been at the turn of the 20th century. The Calvert Retired School Personnel Association and the Friends of the One-Room Schoolhouse share responsibility for the maintenance and educational programs offered to school-age children and adults with an interest in historical buildings and education.  Currently, the Calvert County Public School curriculum includes a day at the schoolhouse for all fourth grade students who experience a typical day in a one-room school and learn about life in rural Calvert County, before electricity, indoor plumbing, cars, and buses.  The Schoolhouse, located at 3080 Broomes Island Road in Port Republic MD, is open by appointment and Open House days to be announced.

Rockport School House, Farmington, UT



Rockport School House at Lagoon Amusement Park Pioneer Village

375 Lagoon Drive

Farmington, Utah  84025

Located in Lagoon Amusement Park’s Pioneer Village at Farmington, Utah, the Rockport School House was constructed in 1870 out of “squared-off” pine logs cut in the mountains surrounding the pioneer settlement of Rockport, Utah. It’s a fine example from the middle and late 1800’s of schools located in the outlying communities. In the winter, the school children would have to huddle around the pot-bellied stoves to keep warm since it was impossible to adequately heat the entire cabin. The building also served as an LDS chapel until a few years later when the LDS settlers could afford to construct a church. The town of Rockport was flooded by the Wanship Dam in 1957.   Meant to be a “living museum,” Pioneer Village is intended to make the history of Utah come alive. It was founded in 1938 near Salt Lake City by Horace and Ethel Sorensen. In April 1975, Lagoon bought the collection from the Sons of Utah Pioneers, and it opened at the amusement park in 1976.

Czesław Marek and Capriccio


Czesław Marek (September 16, 1891– June 17, 1985) was a Polish composer, pianist, and piano teacher who settled in Switzerland during World War I.   Born on September 16, 1891, in the town of Przemyśl, Poland, in Eastern Galicia, near Lwów (now Lviv in Ukraine), Marek studied in that city and then later in Vienna, where he became a private pupil of Theodor Leschetizky. He studied composition with Karl Weigl and later, in Strasbourg, with Hans Pfitzner.  Among his most significant compositions are the fugal Triptychon, op. 8 (1913, rev. 1923) for piano.

Though Marek was appointed to a Piano professorship in Lwów in 1914, three months later the German invasion of Galicia and their battles with the Russian armies forced Marek and his parents to flee to Prague, where he was assisted by Alexander Zemlinsky. In January, 1915, he travelled to Switzerland and settled in Zürich, where he became friendly with Ferruccio Busoni and married the violinist Claire Hofer. Up to 1924 he made a sustained attempt to carve out a career as a concert pianist. Though he afterwards withdrew from the concert stage, he continued to teach and compose.

Marek’s one-movement Sinfonia, op. 28, for large orchestra, which won first prize in the Polish section of the 1928 International Columbia Graphophone Competition celebrating the centenary of Schubert’s death, was followed by two Polish song-cycles for voice and chamber orchestra on folk texts. In the 1930s he produced a number of works for harp, including a transcription of Ravel’s Ondine for two harps; he also wrote several works in a jazz style. He ceased to compose during the 1940s but in1961 published Was ist “musikalisch”? on the art of piano-playing, which he expanded in 1972 as Lehre des Klavierspiels.   He died on June 17, 1985, in Zürich, Switzerland, aged 94.

My CD collection includes the following works by Czeslaw Marek:

Capriccio, op. 15.

Quatre Meditations, op. 14.

Serenade for Violin and Orchestra, op. 24.

Sinfonia, op. 28.

Sinfonietta in DM, op. 16.

Suite for Orchestra, op. 25.

Old Rock Schoolhouse, Bristol, ME



Old Rock Schoolhouse

158 Rock Schoolhouse Rd/

Bristol, ME 04539

The one-room Rock Schoolhouse is a beautiful old schoolhouse that still stands strong and is located at 158 Rock Schoolhouse Road in Bristol, ME. This one room schoolhouse, built in 1835, is the oldest of its type in Maine. The building now known as the Old Rock Schoolhouse had been conceived in the minds of concerned citizens during a meeting on October 18th at the home of David Bryant.  At the same session, voters decided that the schoolhouse would be built of rock and would be “22′ x 22′ on the inside.”  Finally, it was decided to “set said house on land owned by Nelson Fossett near an oak tree standing in the road.” Stone to build the school was gleaned from everhwhere. Stone walls lining pastures were robbed and several granite blocks were hauled by oxen from active quarries at nearby Round Pond.

According to the Town Report of February 20th, 1895, there were then twenty school districts in Bristol. This was known as #13, Rock House District and was valued at sixty dollars. It had three terms of school – eight weeks in the spring, six in the autumn and ten in the winter. The teacher’s salary was $25 for terms one and two, and $28 for the third (or winter) term. Also, board was provided. The teacher was boarded at the homes of the pupils. The length of time at each home was determined by the number of children in the family. The number of students in a family was the basis, too, for each family’s contribution of wood for heating the school.

The Rock Schoolhouse was used through 1899. After repairs were made, it was opened again in 1912 for two terms.  Today the Parks and Recreation Department keeps the grounds maintained and visitors are welcome. They can go inside when it is attended by volunteers on summer Wednesday and Sunday afternoons from 1 P.M. to 3 P.M., July through Labor Day. The volunteer docents dress in period costume and open the schoolhouse for tours. Inside, visitors find actual textbooks used by 19th century students and can attend a “class” given by a docent, recording their answers on their personal slates. Restrooms are available. The school house is located on Rock Schoolhouse Road accessible off the Upper Round Pond Road from either Route 130 at Bristol Mills or Route 32 just south of Round Pond Village.

Old Lacoochee School, Dade City, FL



Old Lacoochee School

Pioneer Florida Museum and Village

15602 Pioneer Museum Road

Dade City, FL 33523

In 1961, a prominent citizen of San Antonio, Florida, offered a variety of old farm equipment to the Pasco County Fair Association. The Association accepted 37 vehicles and tools of yesteryear. This gift provided the incentive for forming the Pioneer Florida Museum Association with 87 Charter Members. The main Museum is housed in a 50′ by 100′ steel building, which features a wide rustic front porch. Also on the grounds stand the two-story 1864 restored Overstreet House, the Old Lacoochee one-room school house from Lacoochee, a 100-year-old Methodist Church building from Enterprise, the Trilby Depot, and a train engine. Moving and restoration were completely paid for by private contributors. The 16 beautiful wooded acres were a gift from a Museum Association Charter Member. The Association has established a Museum that recalls the basic, simple values of our forebears, asserts the dignity of labor, and emphasizes the value of craftsmanship.

The Pioneer Florida Museum Association was chartered by the State of Florida on April 30, 1961. Gifts of time, talent, land, objects for the collections, and money from countless individuals and organizations have enabled the museum to grow and flourish.  The Museum hopes to show that the men and women who were here before us, struggled, made do, and sometimes won and sometimes lost their battles   On display are tools of the Florida Pioneer Man, showing how he built his house, made his furniture, plowed his fields, harvested his crops, and did his leather-work and blacksmithing. In the Overstreet House and kitchen addition are furnishings which reflect the Florida Pioneer Woman’s everyday experiences – churning butter, cooking on a wood-burning stove, spinning, weaving, battling and boiling the family wash and doing her household tasks with simple primitive equipment.

The first historically significant building to be moved to the Museum Grounds, the Old Lacoochee School, was acquired in 1976, only a few weeks before it was scheduled to be torn down. Although built in the 1930’s as a part of a complex of frame school buildings and used as a first grade building, the structure is architecturally typical of the one room school houses of an earlier period. The school has been restored and furnished in the style of the one room schools prevalent in Pioneer Florida. The addition of electric lights, salvaged from another 20th century school building, has made the Old Lacoochee School available for use as a classroom for courses and meetings offered by the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village.

Tips for Holiday Homeschooling

Tips for Holiday Homeschooling
By Melanie Hexter, Home School Enrichment

As I sit at my computer pondering what it’s like to homeschool during the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year, it’s the middle of summer and 89 humid degrees. (Editorial deadlines will do this to you.) Sitting on my porch contemplating the holiday time of years, I admit that a slight sense of nervousness is coming over me, and anxiety is beginning to well up within. As I think about the often over-scheduled, demanding time of year that we call the holidays—and ponder how in the world I will manage to add the multitude of extras that they bring to the already demanding task of homeschooling my five children—it’s no wonder that I feel like I’m already running late and a few dollars short.

If this is your first year of homeschooling, you’re likely to face a learning curve as you go through your first holiday season as a homeschool family. Adjustments to your regular routine are almost inevitable, and learning how to balance all the extra demands is something that even long-time homeschoolers have to deal with. I know that as a Christian homeschooling mom, it is so easy for me to succumb to the contemporary American church notion that I must do all the Christmas busyness—for the sake of the Lord. But where is that in the Bible? Whose marching orders am I following when I try to live up to that false notion? Certainly not my Lord Jesus, because His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

If you don’t want the weight of the world on your shoulders as this year’s celebrations of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year draw near, find a comfy chair and join me as I think aloud about an easier and lighter way of doing school with my children during these celebrations, when the world around me seems to spin a few revolutions faster.

Read more:


Collinswood School Museum, Ponchatoula, LA



Collinswood School Museum

165 E. Pine St.

Ponchatoula, Louisiana  70454

Back in the 1800s, it was not unusual find one-room school houses, especially in rural communities. There’s one that’s been saved and turned into a museum in Ponchatoula, LA, which became a town in 1861.  When the Collinswood school one-room school house was finished in 1883, it was likely one of thousands that existed across the country. The Collinswood School Museum actually had its beginning around 1876 when it was begun specifically as a one room school house. Mr. Collins constructed the school house on his estate, approximately one mile west of Ponchatoula, to assure an education for his son in a regular school environment. He then hired and boarded a teacher and offered educational training for other children in the area. Grades 1 through 6 were taught in the single room. The school operated in that fashion until around 1908, staying open for about 30 years.

In 1975 the Bicentennial Commission chose the “Collinswood School Museum” as a project, and the city of Ponchatoula purchased the building for that purpose. Land at the present museum site was donated by the Edwards family to the city. The museum opened in 1976, and has operated continuously since then. The museum is governed and operated by volunteers. Jim Perrin is a retired teacher and principal who has helped turn the old school into the town museum that now houses antique quilts, furnishings, clothing, early farming and household artifacts, and pictures on the history of Ponchatoula.  The Collinswood School Museum in Ponchatoula is open on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday thru Thursday at flexible times.

East Middle Patent One Room Schoolhouse, Armonk, NY



East Middle Patent One Room Schoolhouse

440 Bedford Road

Armonk, NY

The North Castle Historical Society is located at 440 Bedford Road, Armonk, NY, in the landmarked Smith’s Tavern complex.   In the early days of settlement, North Castle became a refuge for people fleeing religious persecution, including Quakers from Rye and Long Island.  By 1730 North Castle was an established settlement and was incorporated on March 7, 1788. North Castle’s name is said to derive from a barrier which stood on the hillside now occupied by IBM Corporate Headquarters, built by the Siwanoy Indians to protect themselves from enemy attack.  They called the site “North Fort” and European settlers gave it the more elegant name of North Castle.  The North Castle Historical Society was organized in 1971 and received its Permanent Charter from the Regents of the University of the State of New York in September 1974.  In 1977 Smith’s Tavern was purchased with the help of a grant from IBM and funds from community donations.  In 1981 the Society acquired the Brundage Blacksmith Shop, which was moved to the site and restored with the help of a grant from the Armonk Lions Club and donations from the community.  That same year an Armonk privy was noted.  In 1983 Smith’s Tavern was accepted in The National Register of Historic Places.  In 1984 the East Middle Patent one-room schoolhouse was moved to the site.  In 1991 the Quaker Meeting House was moved to the hamlet with the financial help of the Armonk Lions Club and the community.  The Society’s historic site grew from one building to five in less than fifteen years, thus creating a historic hamlet benefiting the community at large.

The North Castle School stood on East Middle Patent Road and served grades one through eight in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Visitors can enter where one teacher served for over forty years and taught two generations of students; sit at an early “double” desk or at the teacher’s desk on a raised platform; ring the school bell; and notice the old “privy” which used to stand on Maple Avenue in Armonk.  The privy that stands today between the Brundage Blacksmith Shop and the East Middle Patent One-Room Schoolhouse once stood on the property belonging to Armonk dentist Dr. Jerry Light and was  moved to the Educational Complex in 1981.  Sometimes called “necessaries” or “outhouses,” these outdoor toilets were built over pits and placed several paces from the house.  Often household trash, such as broken pottery or pots, was thrown down into the pit.  When the pit was full, another pit was dug, and the privy was moved to the new spot and the old pit was filled in with soil.  These buildings of the Historic Smith’s Tavern Educational Complex – Brundage Blacksmith Shop, East Middle Patent One-Room Schoolhouse, 1798 Quaker Meeting House, a Privy and, of course, Historic Smith’s Tavern – enrich the North Castle community in many ways educationally, culturally, and economically. As home to The Society, they provide space for myriad activities of The Society, such as writing and editing publications; special exhibits; educational programs; collections of slides, photographs, oral history tapes and video programs; library archives; interpretive tours of the Complex; Colonial Crafts Days; community dinners; and a variety of fund raising activities; giving a place to build friendships and to foster community service. The historic one room school house, East Middle Patent School, located on Route 22 in Armonk, is available for the public to tour.


Wilson-Blair African American One Room School, Fredonia, KY



Wilson-Blair African American One Room School

Grove St.

Fredonia, KY 42411

In Caldwell County, KY, the Wilson-Blair African American One Room Schoolhouse and Museum features African-American artifacts and memorabilia.  When the Wilson-Blair African American One Room School opened in 1926, the school had 61 students from the growing African American community. And even though it closed in 1948, it was kept up and not allowed to fall apart as so many of the old schools in this nation.   Mrs. Virginia Blair and her family donated the school property to the city of Fredonia, Kentucky, in 2005 for the purpose of restoration.   “Miss Virginia,” who lived next door to the school where she was once a student, is not the only one interested in keeping the old schoolhouse alive.  After the school closed, Virginia’s parents took care of the building and the grounds, unknowingly doing preservation work for many years.  After Mrs. Virginia donated the school to the city of Fredonia, it has since been restored to a one-room school house and African American museum. With the help of grants and generous donations the small, wooden schoolhouse is breathing new life as the community comes together to witness the preservation and transformation of a simple, one room, wooden schoolhouse into a historical treasure.  The preservation efforts have been honored in Washington D.C. where a flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol Building in its honor. Last year, Kentucky Educational Television visited the school to record a segment for Kentucky Life. Children from the area visit regularly and get a rare glimpse of education in decades past. Third graders from Caldwell County schools spend an entire school day each year learning in the old building, and even nearby businesses have used it for meetings.

Bovina Center School, Bovina Center, NY



Bovina Center School (now Bovina Public Library)

33 Maple Ave.

Bovina Center, NY 13740

The Bovina Public Library is located in the former District 4 School building in the hamlet of Bovina Center. Bovina has had a New York State Board of Regents Chartered Public Library for over 95 years.    Bovina has had a library in one form or another since at least 1836, when the Bovina Subscription Library was incorporated. Application was made to the New York State Legislature in 1835 to establish the library. The first public library in Bovina was created in 1879 when the “Young People’s Christian Association” of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church organized a small library in the church basement, with volumes presented by the church’s minister.   Around 1910, J.W. Coulter offered the wing of his building, which had once been a tin shop and hardware store, to be used for the library. When he died in early 1917, he bequeathed the entire building, along with $2,700, to establish a public library. That summer the Bovina Library Association was formed, and on December 27, 1917, the Bovina Public Library was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The library stayed in this building for just over 50 years. The library’s next big change came in 1970, when it was moved into its current home in the former District four school house on Maple Avenue, built in 1893. Generous funding from the O’Connor Foundation allowed for major renovations in 1973. An open house and re-dedication of the newly remodeled library took place in June 1974.

Bovina Center NY School building 1910 McIntosh