Scenic USA - Florida

The Old Wooden Schoolhouse

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Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse - St Augustine Historic District, Florida

Photos by Bob Goldman

     The garden is one of the highest art forms in Japan, evolving into a variety of      St. George Street, St. Augustine’s St George Street and Old Schoolhouse - St Augustine, Florida original main thoroughfare, lies in the heart of the city’s historic district. One of the most popular destinations in America's oldest city, the cobblestone street is lined with historic buildings which house art galleries, a wide variety of eateries, souvenirs shops and boutiques.
     This popular street is also home to the Oldest Wooden School House, a structure that has defied the elements for 300 years. With a lot of luck, coupled with decay resistant wood used in Old Schoolhouse Interior construction (red cedar and bald cypress), this historic building has endured all the harsh conditions in the seacoast city. Old World construction techniques, including wooden peg fasteners and handmade nails, make this an interesting piece of Florida history. It is also fitting that the oldest European city in the United States, established in 1565, is home to the oldest wooden schoolhouse.
     Located near the old City Gates and the Castillo de San Marcos, the schoolhouse first appeared on tax records in 1716. Following a period when the British burned the city, the school was built sometime in the early 1700s. The schoolmaster and his wife lived upstairs of the one-room classroom, where both girls and boys were taught Old Schoolhouse Sign the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. The museum features the schoolhouse, a detached kitchen, an outhouse, a well, garden and school bell. One of the most interesting items from the past is a bill submitted to William Lawrence for teaching his children in 1811. The anchor and chain draped over the building, seen from St. George Street, is not for display or decoration, but an attempt to secure the building during hurricanes and strong thunderstorms. Most likely severe winds would be too much for the old school and its delicate facade, but somehow the structure has been spared.

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