Second-Grade Students Attend Class in a One-Room Schoolhouse

During the last week of the school year, second graders at Matthew Paterson Elementary had the chance to reflect on a school year in a very different time – the late 1800s!

Each of the second-grade classes ventured across their school campus to visit the historic little red schoolhouse where local students in the late 1800s through 1927 were educated. The building is the last surviving schoolhouse in the Patterson area from that time. It was moved from its original location near the Thunder Ridge ski area to its current location just outside the District’s administrative offices in 1987.

Teacher rings bell for students to enter the schoolhouse

The visit was a capstone to a final lesson on the history of the era and the schoolhouse, which they learned about in class. During the visit, students had the opportunity to go inside the building, sit at the desks and take part in a lesson or two typical of the eras using small slate chalkboards. The students were quick to point out the many differences between their modern classrooms and the historic schoolhouse. The one-room schoolhouse featured a wood burning stove, chalkboards, a clock with roman numerals, historic pull-down maps and a dunce hat.

The students also participated in recess activities that were popular during the time: jumping over a set of sticks in the lawn and tossing a hoop back and forth using sticks. While children in the 1800s used old skirt hoops, our students used modern-day hula hoops while testing their skills and having fun.

During the visit, Teacher Barbara Grollimund reminded her class that at the time the schoolhouse was used, the school year was only in session for about 130 days each year. However, students typically attended for less than 80 days.

“They only went for 78 days because they had to help with farming,” said student Hannah Law.

As our students finished one of the final lessons of their 180-day school year, there was one last task to do be done: pulling the rope to ring the schoolhouse bell marking the end of an educational and fun visit and an amazing school year!

Learn more about the Little Red Schoolhouse building located just outside the district’s Administrative Building and maintained by the Patterson Historical Society.