Schools: Frenchtown School (7 March 2007)

Contact:  R. Lipprandt


----Sources: The O-W Enterprise, Wednesday, March 7, 2007, page 20, Story by Kris (Jagodzinski) Leonhardt

One-room schools were much more than a building where children learned reading, writing and arithmetic. Schoolhouses were often viewed as the center of the community. Many communities hosted local events between the walls where lessons were given. Some events were organized by the teachers specifically for the parents. Other events, organized by the teacher or local volunteers, were open to everyone.

The end-of the year picnic and the Christmas programs are most memorable to many former one-room students. Other events held at the schoolhouses, include: wedding receptions, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, and welcome home parties. Some schools hosted Halloween parties where children bobbed for apples. Others hosted a Thanksgiving program where children prepared readings and sang selected songs.

As funds for the schools were always low, teachers looked for ways to earn additional funds for the school’s budget. Box socials were often organized to raise needed funds. Mothers and older female students were asked to prepare lunch, place it in a box, and wrap the box attractively. The box lunches were then auctioned off during the social.

When the Frenchtown School was built in 1916, the school was divided into two rooms.

"They did not run Frenchtown as a two-room school," explains former teacher Harriet Laabs. "One room was used for classes and the other room was used for PTA meetings, square dances, and other events."

The Frenchtown School was built in section 28 of Hixon township, on what is now Frenchtown Avenue.

John Stock is the current owner of the building. "I bought it in 1970. Doc Nason had remodeled the building into two apartments," says Stock.

(Transcription: Robert Lipprandt)



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