PHOTOS: Larchwood’s Old Time Teachers Home & School
When I think of One-Room Schoolhouses I picture the one in the Little House on the Prairie TV show. These small schools were often the center of small-town life in the early 1900s. Towns used them to provide some book-learnin' for the kids but they were also ofter used for town meetings, church services, community shindigs, and such.
In the early 1900s, very few students advanced beyond grade school. In 1900 only 11 percent of all children between ages 14 and 17 were enrolled in high school, and even fewer graduated.
I was out doing some socially distant exploring and came across the Centennial #5 School and home just outside of Larchwood, IA. This little school and house is right next to Lake Pahoja Recreational Area. The Lake Pahoja Rec Area is operated by the Lyon County Conservation Board.
This white frame one-room schoolhouse was only in use for about 10 years. Kids attended school there from 1900 to 1910 while the teacher lived on the grounds in a very small house that had an even smaller outdoor privy/outhouse/bathroom in the back yard.
Children of all ages make trips to tour the school, grounds, and house to get an idea of what the educational system was like over a century ago. I'm guessing most kids and teachers prefer the air-conditioning, heating, and indoor plumbing modern schools have today.
It is open on Sundays 1- 4 p.m. during the summer months and by special appointment otherwise. History programs are available at this schoolhouse museum.