One-Room School Houses Still in Operation in NH

Yep, they're still around in New Hampshire



Illustration by bic parker

The thought of walking five miles, uphill both ways, in the snow and without shoes may just be a legend, but the one-room schoolhouses grandfathers across the country were apparently walking to are not. New Hampshire is in fact home to possibly the oldest one in the country.

"That's what they say in Croydon and nobody has contested that claim so far," Stephen Taylor, one-room schoolhouse expert and state commissioner of agriculture emeritus. "The Red School, which is a brick school in Croydon in Sullivan County, reports to be the longest continuously operating one-room schoolhouse, in use since 1794."

"You hear those stories of the eight-mile walk to school," Taylor jests. "In fact, a one-room schoolhouse would only serve a one- to three-mile radius because that was all that a first grader could be imagined to walk." It makes sense — the children going to these schools were not dropped off by mini-van. Everyone walked.

Another one-room schoolhouse still in operation in the state is The Blue School in Landaff in Grafton County. Both schools house each town's kindergarten through third grade. "The schools were valued because they were local," Taylor says. "People knew all the parents and the children. By today's standards, they were quite progressive."

Although the state did not mandate how long the school year would be, children across the state were being educated similarly. "You'd have schools on the mountainside that might only keep school for five or six weeks a year but other schools in the village might keep school for 30. The curriculum, though, was surprisingly fairly uniform with grammar, penmanship, history and arithmetic," Taylor says.

When cars made their debut and enrollment began to decline, the popularity of one-room schoolhouses went by the wayside. The Red School and the Blue School must have noticed some benefits to the one-room school style because their towns have chosen to keep them around.

"The sentiment and impulse is very strong and continuous just as it was a century ago," Taylor says. "They could easily close the doors and ship the children elsewhere for school but they value the local school thing."


History Lessons
These one-room schoolhouses may be closed for class, but various historical societies have preserved them for visitors.

North School
Kensington, 1842-1952

Indian Stream Historic School House
Pittsburg, 1897-1939

Madison Corner School
Madison, 1835-1949

District Schoolhouse No. 1
Hooksett, 1839-1912

Brick Schoolhouse
Sharon, 1833-1920

District No. 5 School
E. Washington, 1849-1937

Distict No. 1 Schoolhouse
Nashua, 1841-1921

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Best of NH 2015 Shops and Services
    From gorgeous flower arrangements to quality pet care you can trust, the 2015 Best of NH Shops...
  2. Best of NH 2015 Fun and Adventure
    The Best of NH 2015 is filled with things to do and see from cooking classes and our favorite...
  3. Guide to Finding Great Oysters in the Granite State
    Whether you're a buck-a-shuck regular or new to the world of oysters, here's what you need to...
  4. Living with Asthma
    Some people say that it feels like a heavy weight is bearing down on their chest. Others compare...
  5. Vaping in New Hampshire
    SubStyle Vapors on Main Street in Concord and lounges in Penacook and Plymouth offer communal...
  6. Best of NH 2015 Food Odds and Ends
    In this section of 2015's Best of NH you'll find this year's best new restaurant, where to eat...
  7. Best of NH 2015 American & Seafood Restaurants
    In this section of 2015's Best of New Hampshire you'll discover where to find the best burger,...
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags