(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
This formal group picture of middle school-aged students and their female teacher on the school steps was probably taken the last day of school in 1914 for the "upper" class of the 2-room Town Street School in Deerfield, Massachusetts. One-room schoolhouses serving children 6 to 16 were common for most Americans in the country during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Larger village centers and small towns often had 2 and sometimes 4-room schoolhouses where the classes were divided by age. This division of students by age differed greatly from the earlier District School System of the late 18th and early 19th centuries of dividing students by classes based on level of skill, which worked better in a period when there was no set age at which children started school and many students did not go to school every day.