The Oldest Wooden School House
14 St George Street, Saint Augustine, FL, USA
www.oldestwoodenschoolhouse.… - 1-904-824-0192
The Oldest Wooden School House Saint Augustine Reviews
Let your first lesson in history start here! Mar 18, 2010
The Oldest Wooden School House is a small museum located in St George street near the old city gate. It is constructed of red cedar and cypress and put together with wooden pegs and handmade nails over 200 years ago. The lot was purchased by Juan Genoply in 1780 and the dwelling was erected in 1788. School classes were held in it for several years in early 19 century, taught by Mary Genoply Darling. It was later used as a guardhouse before it served as a school again in 1854-1864.
The schoolmaster and his wife lived upstairs above the small classroom. This part of the museum was closed off when I was there due to old and unsafe stairs. The facility features a self-guided tour with a robotic schoolmaster and pupils giving a brief history on the house. Just push a button on the wall and they all become alive.
On cold days the fireplace was filled with wood by the pupils who brought their own share of wood. Under the stairs you can see a tiny little room. This was called the dungeon and was where unruly students were placed for punishment.
It is recorded that in 1858 students paid 25¢ per week for schooling, however, the schoolmaster was more often paid in cord, wool or milk rather than in money.
The teacher who taught at the old school did their own cooking in the kitchen in the back of the school (the students brought their own lunches). The kitchen was build as a separate building to spare the main house any excess heat during the summer and also should the kitchen catch on fire the rest of the house may be safe. Several of the cooking utensils used in those days are displayed there.
A visit to the Oldest Wooden School House is educational and I can warmly recommend it. The museum is open daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
$3 Children (6-12)
I came across the rules for the teachers in 1872. Found them quite amusing, so I´d like to share them with you:
❊ Teachers each day will fill lamps , clean chimneys.
❊ Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the days session.
❊ Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
❊ Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
❊ After ten hours in school, the teacher may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
❊ Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
❊ Each teacher should lay aside from each day´s pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefits during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
❊ Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his work, intention, integrity and honesty.
❊ The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.
Part of the Saint Agustine, Florida travel blog
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