Friday, February 25, 2011

Olden Day Teachers=Part 1

I have always been interested in history, one of my great loves. Anything that keeps me reading about it and digging into the past. This post is about my home town and an old school called "Rosy Mound," started in the late 1800s and is still going strong and still located on Lakeshore Drive over by Lake Michigan.

More than a hundred years ago, sturdy industrious, honest women and men settled in this part of the country, clearing the land, establishing their homes, founding churches and building school houses. Today we have one of the most beautiful and best equipped rural schools in Michigan.

This is a letter written long ago by one of those teachers (Miss Anna O'Beck), who taught at Rosy Mound school from 1893-1894. I am reminded of a day many years ago and would like to know if you would like to go with me, in an invisible form, as I start out to work, (this is how the letter starts).

Early one September morning, wearing a simple cotton dress and heavy shoes, and carrying a small lunch basket in one hand, and a portfolio of supplies in the other, I left my home with a happy heart. I was going to teach, and that was one thing I wanted to do.

The walking was not so bad, until I came to the corner of what is now Sheldon Road at Robbins Road. No more sidewalks or grassy path-nothing but heavy sand and deep ruts in the road. After I turned the second turn in the road, a small girl came running to meet me. She had a small pail in one hand and school supplies in the other. She greeted me with the words, "You are the new teacher aren't you,? My name is Minnie McComb." The gay chatter of her voice and the lilt of her laughter, as we walked along, made me think less of tired feet, heavy sand and distance.

The Vincent trio, each carrying a tin pail and books, joined us as we were passing their gate. The conversation became more animated now and as we entered the deep woods at the base and east side of Rosy Mound (this is the big sand dune the school is named for), they tried their best to show me they were not afraid of any armed bandits or wild beast, that might be in hiding. I for one was glad to get out in the sunlight again.

The Nordhouse girls, each wearing a R.M. badge, met us as we came out of the woods, and together we climbed the corduroy road, which was a hard job, but not nearly as bad as if it were all ruts and sand. Pearl Nordhouse and her brother, properly labeled, were waiting for us at the top of the hill. The walking was easier now, since there were grassy stretches on either side of the road.

Coming up from his home in the valley, we could see black eyed Frank Bradenhof, wearing his badge, running to be in time to meet us at the gate. The last children to join the group , were the Vos trio. This was the assembly pattern we followed for the next one hundred and seventy-nine days of the school year, and on the jaunt home it was followed in the reverse order.

To be continued on part two. The miles from Miss O'Becks home in town to the school was four miles, so even if she is tired from teaching all day, she has to walk the four miles home again, now this is real dedication, and just think they trudged to school even in the rain and snow.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

A wonderful read Margaret and look forward to the second part.

Have a great week-end.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

and it was up hill all the way both ways too. :) Can't wait to hear part 2 Margaret.

Linda said...

This is an enjoyable read and looking forward to the second part. :) My Mom, who grew up in deep southern Illinois, attended a one-room schoolhouse for her early years. She was actually the first one in her family of 11 children, to graduate from high school and go onto college, because the kids were just needed to work then on the farm and in the mines.
Hope you have a blessed week,

Judy said...

Loved the story. We have no idea today what people went through just to get to work back then. Can you imagine walking 4 miles to work. They had to be in good shape. lol. Have a good week.

Destiny's child... said...

Aww...lemme go to the second part now :)

dr.antony said...

The fondest memories are the earliest ones !

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