This is East Washington District School House in East Washington, New Hampshire USA. Taken 8/10/10.
In the late 1790’s, the town was divided into school districts. At the most, there were 10 school districts. Each district was responsible for the running of their school. Students in that district would attend their own school. In 1825, there were 371 students in the 10 school districts, while in 1848 there were 256 scholars.
This district was known as School District #5. In 1817, $200 was raised to build a school house. It was a log school and was located across the road from the one now standing.
The current school was built in 1849. In 1851, the State Board of education cited it as a ``model school house’’. This school was larger than any other, except for the Center School in Washington Center (now the Police Station). In 1878, there was an average of 42 students in each of the three terms and a total school year of 30 weeks. not much money available to buy extras, so in 1869, the students and teachers earned money to buy a clock (still on the wall), table, chair and five reference books. In 1883, the teacher and students presented an elegant copy of Webster’s Unabridged dictionary which stands by the teacher’s desk, showing much usage. During the 1890’s, the building was extensively repaired and new desks were installed.
There are two coat-rooms, one on each side of the building. The one on the right was for the girls, the one on the left for the boys. Boys entered the classroom by the left door, and the girls on the right. The bathroom facilities and woodshed are in a separate building. The boys bathroom is on the left, the girls on the right with the woodshed in the middle. In the winter, it was the rule that when a student went out to the outhouse, they must bring back in a piece of wood for the fire.
A wood stove was the only means of heat and was usually in the center of the room. Water was brought for drinking from the Fletcher place for the day. A bucket with a common dipper was used. Later, the State of New Hampshire demanded a more sanitary method and the water jug was used. There has never been electricity in the building. Lamps (probably oil) were suspended from the ceiling for use on dark days. The windows on the east side of the building were added in the 1920’s.
There were at least two, and sometimes three terms per year. Each term lasted eight to ten weeks. A teacher was hired for the term, so in some cases, there would be three teachers in one year. If there were not enough students, the school would be closed for that term.
Nikon D300, Photomatix and finished in Picasa (1 raw image), 200 ISO, handheld, 70×300.