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
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?