Friday, July 24, 2009

History of Bethany Schools

One can hardly picture the children of today traveling from two to four miles through woods to school, with only gashes cut in the trees for guides!

In the early days whenever a sufficient number of children could be gathered, the parents constructed a rude log schoolhouse where the three R's could be diligently taught.
These crude buildings were equipped with long wooden benches, usually heated by a roughly built fireplace, a slab desk arrangement for the teacher, and of course always a dunce stool on which many a great scholar has been humiliated. These bits of so-called furnishings were hand-hewn from the forest around the buildings. Often the windows were only greased paper or perhaps even skins. There was a small amount of currency with which to buy slates, slate pencils, water pails or brooms.

In 1835 school libraries were established, and every district received its proportionate quota for such library. In 1845 institutes for teachers were considered one of the best menas of benefit, and the teachers of Genesee county eagerly availed themselves of its advantages.
-from Through the Years in Bethany Schools, M. Ford, p. 3-4, 1960; c. 2009.

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