Community-Based Education Resources: One-Room Schoolhouses

Community-Based Education Resources: One-Room Schoolhouses in Western MA

Here in Western Massachusetts there are many preserved historic school houses people can visit to learn more about schooling and education before the 20th century.

Print out and take John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem, “In School-Days,” with you to read as you explore these six historic schoolhouses in Western Massachusetts: 

The Boyden Schoolhouse (Conway, MA)
Watch the video below to learn more about this one-room schoolhouse that was moved from its original location in Conway, MA, to its new location next to the Conway elementary school. During Conway’s annual Festival of the Hills (first Sunday in October), the schoolhouse is known to be open for a tour by the Conway Historical Society.

Wapping Schoolhouse at Historic Deerfield (Deerfield, MA)
A one-room schoolhouse built in 1838, open for visits during special events and school field trips.

Norwich Bridge School (Huntington, MA)
Overseen by the Huntington Historical Society and now open to the public, this one-room schoolhouse showcases a collection of books, artifacts, maps, clothing, tools, and other historical artifacts to discover.

South School (Shutesbury, MA)
Historic South School’s web page has a wonderful write-up on education and rural life in the 19th and early 20th century. There you will find a historic photograph of a 1920’s Ford high school bus and paintings by Winslow Homer, including “Snap and Whip” and “The Country School.”

Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge, MA)
In addition to the many historic houses and demonstrations at this living history museums, visitors to Old Sturbridge Village can also stop in the schoolhouse situated in the recreated 19th century village. There folks can sit sit in the the schoolhouse’s “battered seats” as Whittier describes in his poem.

Little Red Schoolhouse at Storrowton Village (West Springfield, MA)
Storrowton Village is a museum that depicts a recreated village comprised of 18th and 19th century historic buildings that highlight early American life in New England.  Included in their historic house collection is a one-room schoolhouse known as Little Red Schoolhouse.

[Little Red School in Charlemont, MA. Oldest One-Room Brick Schoolhouse in MA, built 1828. (c) Sienna Wildfield]


Excerpt from Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts (Seasons: Sept/Oct), a downloadable bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

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