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Kiwanis Learns About One Room School; Open House Set for this Sunday

fullsizerender-9Education has been a priority in White County for centuries.  Connie Saunders, in for her husband Art recovering from surgery gave half of the Kiwanis program at Thursday’s club meeting and laid out the history of one room school houses in White County.  This Sunday from 1p – 4p, the One Room School Museum will host an Open House and will be open for visitors to take a look at the many pieces of history the former Rudolph School now houses.

It was 1811 when Big Prairie got it’s one room school.  She described it as having no floor, an open fire in the middle of the room and a hole in the roof for the smoke to escape.  Prior to 1855, most schools were identified as “Subscription Schools” due to the tuition required to attend.  By 1945, there were 115 one room school houses throughout the county.  Some of them: Nubbin Ridge, Lone Oak, Dick Pond, Moccasin fullsizerender-6and Rising Sun.  During the decade that followed, Saunders says all the rural one room school houses consolidated.  Fast forward another 40 or so years and in 1991, the Retired Teachers Association realized that the one room school house concept was becoming a history that no one would remember.

After many excellent breaks and assistance, a group determined that Rudolph school (originally located near McHenry Church) would be suitable to move to town.  A fundraiser was organized with the goal of raising $12,000.  As often happens, the town rose to the occasion and superseded that amount by more than $5,500.  The museum was opened in October of 1996.

Now twenty years later, the museum is overseen by 5 trustees, Don White, Don Garrett, Don Dixon, Thys Bax and Art Saunders.  The Open House will offer folks the chance to see history including textbooks from the 1850’s including spelling and geography.  The museum is also home to 3 sets of encyclopedias, old metal lunchboxes, reading books for children categorized by year, several pictures and even a 38 star United States flag issued afterfullsizerender-8 Colorado became a state.

 

Mr. Don Dixon, one of three Kiwanis members in the club that attended a one room school also spent some time relating his memories from his first 8 years of education.  He shared many funny facts and stories that the public can certainly hear about if you’ll visit during the One Room School Open House on Sunday, September 18th from 1p – 4p.

In club business, Carmi’s annual celebration Corn Day is just over 3 weeks away and Peanut Day is coming up on Saturday, September 17th.