York Town Square

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Little school house in Hanover: A story of the circus and coal room

York County’s Margaret E. Bier remembers the little school house in Hanover, even the stool and dunce hat in the corner. (See more of her memories below.) Margaret does not remember the name of the school? If you know, comment below. Thousands of York countians have memories of these small schools, dotting the county’s landscape. The York Daily Record/Sunday News is planning a book on these nostalgia-producing little buildings. Background posts: One-room school days fascinate history fans and One-room schools: ‘That’s when things were good’.

The Daily Record/Sunday News is looking for photos, such as that submitted by Margaret Bier, of one-room schoolhouses and the classes that attended them.
Did you attend or teach at one? Do you have photos to share?
These photos may be used in various publications as part of our continuing series on one-room and small-room school memories. One planned publication is a book set for release in June… .

To read more memories and see other photos, see the one-room schools section, All in one room, of inyork.com/ydr.
Margaret Bier’s story is typical of those found on the “All in one room” site and an example of what will be in the book:

During the times that Margaret E. Bier of York lived with her grandparents, she attended “a little school house in Hanover.”
Bier said she does not remember the name of the school, but recalls that it was not too far from her grandparents’ home on Third Street.
“When it snowed, a cousin would carry me on his back so I would not need to walk in the snow,” she said.
Inside the school there was a coal stove, the boys kept the coal bucket filled and students placed their wet shoes by the stove to dry, Bier said.
“Our teacher, Mr. Swartz, was very strict. If we talked out of turn or did any other thing he did not approve of, the punishment was kneeling on the floor in front of the class. He put papers under our knees to keep our stockings clean. We also had a stool and dunce hat in the corner. I remember one wary day the circus set up their tents in the field across from the school and at recess some of us went over to watch. We did not hear the bell or just wanted to stay there and when we returned Mr. Swartz sent us to the coal room with a poem to memorize. We had to stay there until we could recite it to him,” Bier said.
Bier’s family lived in York but she spent summers with her grandparents.
“Dad would put me on the trolley in downtown York to Hanover,” she said. ” It was a rough ride and I would always feel sick. When I arrived in Hanover I would carry my suitcase and walk to Grandma’s house. I have happy memories of Grandma and the times we were together,” she said.

For additional posts on one-room schools and education in York County’s past, see this blog’s School dayscategory.