Scenic USA - New York
Each day Scenic USA presents a different and interesting photo feature from somewhere in
the United States. Chosen from a wide variety of historic sites, city scenes, back-country
byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a
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Points of Interest
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|Photos by Ben Prepelka
Ben's Panoramio Gallery
Approaching two hundred years old, the Essex County schoolhouse is the oldest standing school in the county. Built of native limestone, this one-room school was raised in 1816 (a year without summer). Located in the Adirondack foothills and New York's Champlain Valley, the schoolhouse saw its final classes a hundred years later in 1916. Not much to look at on the inside, the exterior appears solid and in good repair.
Common sights all over America, simple schoolhouse buildings were usually constructed of local material, large enough to accommodate the children of the immediate area. Most were accompanied with separate outhouses, and accommodations were often dependent on the wealth of the area's residents. You may be surprised to see most floors were plain dirt, or occasionally rough sawn planks. Desks, if any, were built to a size to fit the child, with the youngest students gathering in the front.
Quite often, the rural schoolhouse was the center of the community, teaching several family members and offering a meeting place for parents. Classroom lessons taught the basics, reading, writing, mathematics, family values and love of country. While the cost of paper was prohibitive, most hand writing and arithmetic was done on a slate board. Because textbooks were a luxury, hornbooks and battledores were common teaching aids. Then, along came the McGuffey Reader, first compiled in 1836. Reaching its peak of popularity during the late 19th century, no other book, other than the Bible and Webster's Dictionary, has sold the vast number of copies as the McGuffey Reader.
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