First District Schoolhouse

This past summer I was asked to escort 19 Spanish students around our town and show them some of our “historic sites”. This presented a problem as “historic” to people in New England is anything that is 250 years old. In Spain, 250 years is hardly considered ancient history. So I contacted our wonderful Historical Society and they agreed to provide access to the Barn-Museum and the one room schoolhouse.

The students loved the barn and the wide array of early farm equipment on display and the expert presentations provided by the two gentlemen who took the time to be there for us. But it was the schoolhouse that they really could relate to. As we exited the barn and looked up the little knoll to the schoolhouse, there was Marion Thierry, standing in the doorway ringing the bell and announcing that “School is about to start and you'd better hurry”.

As we hurried up the hill the smiles were everywhere. This was an opportunity to really see what the heart of American life was like in our early days. As we entered the small building our teacher pointed out the area where coats were hung and firewood was piled. As they all picked a desk to sit at the expressions of wonder were on their faces. Undoubtedly they were thinking:

What time did the buses come?
How many snow-days a year were allowed?
Where was the thermostat located for when it got colder?
Where’s the air conditioner?
Where are the computers locked away?
Hey, where’s the bathroom?
Where’s my homeroom?
Who’s my math teacher?
Can I get a drink of water?

Next Page