Red School House

Ashby students pay a visit to the Red School House during the 2019 Lake Region Pioneer Thresher Show

Do you ever wonder what it would have been like to live in the 1860’s? What would your elementary education have looked like? There is, of course, the old adage that goes “we had to walk two miles to and from school, uphill both ways!” At the Thresherman’s Show in Dalton, you can visit the one-room red school house of 1987 and get a sense of the way education used to be.

A young mother assured me that the school house is her favorite place to visit. As she walks across the old wooden floor, she can imagine the school desks filled with students. She notices the old books in the bookcase, the workbooks, and the lunch pails. The wood stove would have been used fall, winter, and spring to warm the students who, had indeed, walked two miles to school. She assures me that the old roll-out maps upfront were used to teach geography, and the black board used to work out long division problems.

Right next to the school house, the children can play in the school yard! A merry-go-round is a favorite attraction, along with some swings, and lots of sand to scoop and shovel. Although rural schools would not have these luxuries, the children would enjoy playing baseball and Annie-I-over during good weather. Indoor games would consist of checkers, chess, pickup sticks, tiddlywinks, and dominoes.

When two girls were asked what they liked about the school, they replied that “it’s a cool place to see the way things used to be, kind of like Little House on the Prairie.”