Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Early schools

Education was very important to the pioneers. The earliest schools were built of logs and a better building was constructed when there was time and money.

The specifications for a new brick school were very explicit down to the kind of wood and mortar that was to be used. According to the specifications for Sherman School, "The contractor is to furnish all materials and labor necessary for the full completion of the building except the bell which will be furnished by the building committee but must be hung by the contractor". The foundation and brick work were to be "put up in good strong mortar made from good sharp sand and fresh lime". There were to be 3 coats of plaster, the first having "good long winter hair" in it. Blackboards were to be "4 feet high and a good quality of slate and properly secured to the wall". Windows had wire mesh attached to the outside to protect them from baseballs and snowballs. Sherman School had a basement and a furnace but many schools were heated with a wood or coal burning stove that had to be lit in the morning by the teacher or a student.