York Town Square

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One-room schools Archives

Here’s another wonderful York County, Pa., scene courtesy of Dianne Bowders – the old Raab’s School. It was one of about 300 one-room schools operating in the county before World War II. This classic little red school house gave way to regional elementary schools in the 1950s (see below). As for this photo, a commenter of Dianne Bowders’ Flickr account wrote: ‘Such clean and beautiful colours!!’

‘Journalists use phones, tablets, computers, cameras, notebooks, and pizza!’ Roundtown Elementary third-grade teacher Amy Musone wrote on Twitter. That’s right. All of these tools have their place in the modern journalists’ toolbox – and any journalist knows that you’re often fueled by pizza when chasing after stories. Bill Dissinger illustrated the multi-tasking world of a modern journalist.

This is a familiar former one-room school, sitting for decades along the York Road in Heidelberg Township. This has the look of a former one-room school, well-built and made of brick or stone. Schools in this area – the heavily German area of southwestern York County, were the last to become public. ‘Through the influence of Thaddeus Stevens and others, the Legislature passes an act to establish a system of public schools in Pennsylvania,’ a short history of one-room buildings in the York, Pa., Daily Record states in its 1834 entry. ‘A storm of opposition follows and the act is nearly repealed a year later. Districts are given the choice whether or not to accept and establish public schools. The law triggers the building of one-room schools in rural areas around the state during the next 50 years.’ After World War II, the 300 one-room buildings were consolidated into 50 new schools with multiple grades and classrooms. The number of school districts also came down – from 32 to 15. But the one-roomers are standing around York County today, used in a variety of way.

Steve Kohr, well-known for his ownership of the Shady Lane estate and his generosity in opening that East Manchester Township treasure to the public, is working on this 1895 schoolhouse at 3100 Grandview Drive, York Haven. ‘We reproduced the bell tower, slate roof, wood repairs, repointed stone w/ lime mortar …,’ he wrote on Facebook.

Now this is the way a one-room school should look. Bell tower (not all schools had such towers). Flag flying (between two trees). Students enjoying the outdoor (or in this case a photo op.). This is the Red Lion area’s Springvale School in 1913, as it appears in the book ‘All in One Room’. (You won’t recognize it, but see the school today below).

It didn’t take long for YDR Facebook readers to ID each name on this graphic as a one-room school site. Or most of them anyway. One-room school news and views always captive online and social media readers. So there, we gave the answer to this one. How about those History Mystery quizzes below?