OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY
Lone Star School, District 64
West Ave. M
Named in honor of the many buffalo that once roamed the surrounding prairie, Bison in rural Rush County, KS, got its start when the Missouri Pacific Railroad plowed through the area in 1886. However, the region had seen settlement for several years prior to the coming of the railroad. The first “school” was held in a farm home in 1877. George Ficken Jr. donated land one and one-half miles west of where Bison would later be established for a German Methodist Episcopal Church and school. Construction began in 1878 with hand-hewn native stone donated by members of the church, and in 1879, the Lone Star German Methodist Episcopal Church and schoolhouse was finished. With help from the community, contractor Henry Mertz and carpenter Henry Rogers built the dual-purpose building for school activities during the week and church services on Sundays. Typical of early one-room schoolhouses, this limestone building features a simple rectangular form with a gable roof with little architectural ornamentation. A wood-frame vestibule was added to the front of the building in the early 20th century. Early schoolhouses like this are often classified as vernacular in style.
The property, which includes a coal shed and outhouse, was nominated for its associations with early public education in Kansas and for its architectural significance as a good example of an early vernacular one-room schoolhouse. It was nominated as part of the “Historic Public Schools of Kansas” Multiple Property Submission to the National Register of Historic Places. The town officially began when the railroad arrived and the name “Buffalo” was first chosen. However, when they found the name was already in use, it was called Bison and the first homestead was built in the town in 1886. In the spring of 1888, the Missouri-Pacific Railroad Townsite Company surveyed and platted the town and post office was opened on May 7th and a general store, just a few months later in July. The first gas well drilled in Rush County was at the north edge of Bison in 1903, marking the beginning of oil and gas development in Rush County. By 1910, the town’s population had grown to about 375. The following year, the town was officially incorporated.
Lone Star was used as a church and school until 1890, when the congregation of the original Lone Star German Methodist Episcopal Church west of the city built a new church a mile north of the site. The old building was then sold to the school district 34 (later 64) and classes were held there as grades one through eight attended school here until 1947 when area school districts consolidated and the district merged with Bison where in 1937, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) had built a new grade school of native stone blocks as well as hand-dug municipal water well which measured eighteen feet in diameter and sixty-nine feet deep. At that time Lone Star began to be used as a clubhouse by the Sunshine Extension Homemakers Unit of Bison. Former students and members of the Bison community have donated time and money to help with maintenance and repairs. The interior features several pieces of original furnishings and original gas light fixtures. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 22, 2009.
OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY
Liberty Township Schoolhouse No. 2
State Road 244 and County Road 600E
Liberty Township Schoolhouse No. 2 is a historic one-room school building located in Liberty Township, Shelby County, Indiana. It was built in 1875, and is a one-story, rectangular, Italianate style brick building. It has a steep gable-front roof and features heavy scroll brackets, a scalloped frieze, and oculus vent. Also on the property is a contributing water pump. It remained in use as a school until about 1919. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
310 Back St.
Coloma, CA 95613
Visiting the Coloma Schoolhouse at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park (MGDSHP) is like stepping back in time. It has been meticulously restored to depict the classroom as it appeared in 1925. The School Superintendents Report of 1855 shows three schools in the Coloma area—one each in Coloma, Uniontown (now Lotus) and Cold Springs—with a total attendance of 54 pupils. It’s believed the original school was directly behind the county courthouse when Coloma was the county seat. In 1858, the county seat moved to Placerville and the vacant courthouse was turned into the schoolhouse. By 1887, the three smaller schools had been consolidated into a central school in Coloma with 234 students enrolled. The population of Coloma was ethnically diverse, due to the influx of people from all over the world during the Gold Rush. Initially, children from Coloma’s African American population attended school at the African Methodist Episcopal Church; however, “Common School Reports” indicate that African American children attended the traditionally white school as early as 1875—five years before a state statute ended segregation in public schools.
The courthouse building served as the school from 1858 until the afternoon of Friday, September 2, 1919, when it was destroyed by fire. Classes resumed on Monday morning at the nearby I.O.O.F. Hall and continued there until a new schoolhouse was erected. Lumber being at a premium, the citizens of Coloma searched for an alternative to building a new school. They located an abandoned schoolhouse, built in 1890, in Slatingdale (now Kelsey), and purchased it for $200. It was disassembled, and the parts were labeled and shipped the nine miles to Coloma by horse-drawn wagon. The building was reassembled on the site of the previous school, and on January 27, 1920—four months after the fire—classes resumed in the new schoolhouse. When the Gold Trail Union School District was formed in 1957, the schoolhouse closed.
For many years, it served as the Little Red Schoolhouse Antique Shop. In 1978, the building was purchased by MGDSHP and a new foundation and roof were added. A full-scale restoration, utilizing first-hand accounts from local residents and former students, was completed on October 2, 1987, at a cost of $60,000. On October 10, 1987, an uninsured logging truck carrying 72,000 pounds of logs lost control on the turn in front of the school and overturned. The logs smashed into the southwest corner of the building and skidded across the hardwood floor, leaving scratches that can still be seen. The Coloma Schoolhouse Restoration Committee—a coalition of private citizens and 15 community organizations—worked with the Gold Discovery Park Association (GDPA) to raise $44,000 needed for repairs. The restored building was dedicated on September 9, 1995, and now serves as a museum.
Could Homeschooling Really Grow by 500 Percent?
Michael Donnelly, Home School Legal Defense Association (May 21, 2020)
There are about 2.5 million homeschooling children in the United States today. But what if there were 8 million more kids homeschooling in the fall?
There is reason to believe this could happen.
An EdChoice public opinion poll suggests that more than half of parents with school-age kids have a more favorable view of homeschooling after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Reason Foundation Facebook poll conducted by Corey DeAngelis suggests that about 15 percent of all children could be making the switch to homeschooling in the fall. And a May 14, 2020, Real Clear Opinion poll of over 2,000 registered voters found that as many as 41% of parents are more likely to homeschool this fall.
OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY
Stanley School – Crossroads Village
6140 Bray Road
Flint, MI 48505
What was yesterday really like? How simple was that simpler time? There’s a place where history comes to life and you’re part of the experience. It’s Crossroads Village in Flint, MI, a one-of-a-kind collection of restored 19th century buildings, amusement rides, and authentic narrow-gauge railroad. Here visitors will see what life “way back when” was all about. From the smithing of the iron to the churning of the butter to the pressing of the cider. And so much more. In 1967, local individuals and organizations realized that many structures of historical importance in the Flint area were being destroyed, and plans for the construction of interstate highways and urban development would necessitate the demolition of additional buildings. There was also a realization that rural skills, equipment, and crafts were being lost. The idea of a Farm Museum was proposed at the December 12, 1968, meeting of the Commission by John West and Stanley Mahaffy. and considerable interest was shown by the Commission. On May 8, 1969, the Commission appointed as advisory committee on historical preservation. The late Clarence Young of the Manufacturer’s Association of Flint was appointed chairman. The Genesee County Historical Society became involved with the project and was represented on the advisory committee.
Eventually, ideas to create a farm museum and preserve buildings of historic importance merged into the concept of a rural village. Impetus came with the realization that the nation’s bicentennial was fast approaching. In the summer of 1973, the County Board of Supervisors adopted the creation of a rural Crossroads Village as Genesee County’s Bicentennial project and funds were appropriated for planning purposes. The plans for this hypothetical Crossroads Village evolved from the common characteristics of rural villages in Genesee County as depicted in the 1873 Atlas of Genesee County. The master plan was approved at the August 1974 meeting of the Commission, and in September and October, the Clayton Town Hall and Davison Depot were moved to the Village. The Village, dedicated July 4, 1976, became a reality. The first building reconstructed from largely original materials was the Stanley School. The Stanley School House (1883) was moved to Crossroads in 1975 and conducted its first class in 1976. Named after Sherman Stanley, this red brick school was built in 1883 and was located just up the road about a quarter mile or so. It continued to serve as a school up until 1963. Many Michigan children attended one-room schools as late as the middle of the 20th century.
OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY
County Rd. G-12
In 1894 the Wisconsin-Michigan Railroad first crossed the Menominee River from Wisconsin into Michigan’s upper peninsula. Investors knew there was money to be made by harvesting lumber further inland and the railroad was the easiest way because automobiles were not yet invented. The railroad brought many workers into the area some of which were loggers, merchants, and farmers. Small communities grew up along the railroad and one of these rural communities was Longrie. The name originated from the Longrie family as it was John and Eva Longrie who owned much of the land in the area. They also owned the general store which served as a train station. The town consisted of only a few farms, a blacksmith shop, the general store, and a cedar yard where lumber was stored for shipment to the big cities. As more and more people moved into the area the Longrie community grew. Education was important and the township of Lake, created in 1910, recognized the need for additional schools. There were other schools in the area but the walking distance was too far. So in 1911 the widow Eva Longrie (John Longrie died in 1904) deeded an acre of land for the school and by fall the building was complete. This was the first Longrie School. It would last until late 1929 when it caught fire and burned to the ground.
In 1930, E.F. Potter of Stephenson received the ‘low bid’ of $1993 for construction of the new 24′ x 38′ school. This is the same building that remains to this day. All the students sat in one big room with only one teacher for all the students. School size at Longrie varied from 17 to over 30 kids with a few in each class. School age children were usually between six and 18 so the teacher would teach one age group at a time. The younger pupils would often learn while listening to what was being taught to their older siblings. Pupils were assigned duties such as cleaning erasers, sweeping the floor, erasing the blackboard, and hauling in firewood and coal for the furnace. Drinking water came from an old hand pump out front that still works today. Pupils carried their lunch in an old lard or peanut butter pail. Teachers usually lived with a family that was near the school until cars became more prevalent. Very few teachers had a college education back then. Most acquired a teaching certificate which required at least one year of education beyond high school. Most were women although Longrie did have one male teacher.
Longrie school is unique in that it is one of the few one-room schools to have all the classroom windows located on one side. Early bathrooms were quite different from today as well. The first school at Longrie had both a ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ bathroom outside and behind the school. These were called outhouses or privies. When the second school was built they removed the old outhouses and again incorporated the latest design elements of the time and installed new, chemical toilets inside the school. Most kids walked to school. At recess,the kids played baseball and ‘ante-over’ in the summer and fox and geese and snowballs in the winter. They also pumped well water into a trough that they formed with packed snow. The water would freeze providing a nice slide to which a running start would add the finishing touch. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s schools were consolidating to save money. So in the early 1960’s Longrie School and several other one-room schools consolidated with the bigger school in nearby Stephenson, Michigan. This forever ended classes at Longrie School as well as many other one room schools that dotted the area. Although its function as a school was over, the old Longrie one-room school building would serve the township and community for many years after as a Senior Citizens Civic Club center. Today Longrie School sits idle, a ghostly reminder of a little thriving community that once was. Gone are the children, the railroad, and the simple times of yesteryear. The building was restored by the Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse Association.
OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY
Union Grove One-Room Schoolhouse
13220 Mason Rd. NE
Cumberland, MD 21502
The Wilson Academy was built of brick on an acre of land deed to the Board of County School Commission by Peter and Elizabeth Neff Smouse on July 24, 1874. John Jacob Smouse and his brother, Peter, constructed the school for the area. Charles A. Smouse, son of Peter, purchased the school in 1902 for sixty dollars after it was replaced by the Union Grove School. A porch was added on the front and side. The interior was partitioned into a living room, kitchen with pantry and two bedrooms. The building still stands on Smouses Mill Road and in recent years was donated to Allegany College of Maryland. In 1901, the Union Grove One Room School was built to replace the Wilson Academy. The school was built for children living along this section of Mason Road. Union Grove School also became a community center for the surrounding area.
In 1946, the Board of Education deeded the school and property to the Boys 4-H Club. It remained a club house and a community center for the surrounding area, serving children and families who lived along the rural Mason Road area. for many years. At one point the Preservation Society replaced the roof, saving the building. The building remained vacant for many years and began to deteriorate. Richard Heavner, trustee for the 4-H club, donated the school to the Allegany County Historical Society in October 2007 with the intention that it would be restored. The schoolhouse has been completely restored with a grant from the Maryland Historic Trust and matching funds from the Allegany County Historical Society. The restoration project was overseen by Historical Society Board member, Howard Buchanan. Dedicated to the memory of Howard Buchanan in 2016, this restored, accessible Union Grove One Room Schoolhouse is open April-October for school field trips, open houses, family reunions and by appointment by calling the Allegany County Historical Society.