Tag Archives: one-room schools

Blizzards, Dust Storms, Extreme Cold – All Make a Teacher’s Dilemma

My Daddy is sick and in bed.  “He has a fever,” Mommy says.  I hear them talking.  “Perhaps we should just keep them home today, Will.”  “How cold is it?” Daddy asks.  “Minus 2 on our thermometer, and not much wind,” she answers.  They decide Doris and I can go, and Mommy puts on her outside clothes too.  “I’ll walk with you to the Christensen road and break a trail for you.”  We are so happy.  It is nice to walk with Mommy, and only a quarter of a mile to the school house after she turns back.  It works well having Mommy breaking trail, the snow is deep for our legs.  I’m six and Doris is seven, and we are used to walking to school.  When the snow is deep, Daddy usually drives us in the sled.  Now he is sick, and Mommy can’t get harness on a horse – but she is a good trail breaker.    Continue reading


Filed under Prairie Childhood

My One-Room Prairie School

What Was It Like?

We left this story at the end of the last blog as my sister Doris and I met our teacher, on our first day at school.  What did we see when our parents took us into the building to this meeting?  It certainly didn’t look anything like the place we saw when our family attended some community celebration!  My memory has been working overtime trying to recapture the impressions of a five year old, some 85 years ago.  To be fair, the sketch on this page is a composite of memories from eight and a half years, from the time I started school until I graduated from grade eight.

It is my belief that I am approximately correct with the measurements shown for the school building itself.  As to the furnishings and the general positioning of such, the memories came easily and with confidence.  I hope that before I leave this series on the school, my research (or more likely that of someone else ) will produce actual pictures to use for comparison.  Until then, my sketch will have to do.   Continue reading


Filed under Prairie Childhood

The One-Room Prairie School

Basic Rural Education in the 1920s and 1930s

 This post’s title describes a topic dear to my heart, but I have struggled with how to enable readers to enter that long-ago world.  Just describing the buildings, the facilities, the curriculum and the students will not convey the reality of my childhood times, so foreign now to any but the very old.  This story, therefore, starts a few years before my birth.

1918 ushered in the end of World War One.  That terrible conflict with its tragic loss of lives, barbaric cruelties on all sides, social upheavals, and heroic actions beyond description finally came to an end.  Then followed the demobilization of war-weary soldiers eager to return to their old familiar world, only to find that their home world had changed as much as they had!     Continue reading


Filed under Prairie Childhood