(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
For over 130 years, one-room schoolhouses like this one in the Wapping section of Deerfield, Massachusetts, were where most Americans got their education. The Wapping School was one of 14 schoolhouses in Deerfield at the time, a schoolhouse was at nearly every dirt road's intersection. In the 1830's this simple design with its many windows (for light and air) was widely copied around the country. Generally schoolhouses were painted either red or white, as these paint colors were the cheapest. Families living in each school "district" took care of schoolhouse repairs, teachers' pay and "boarding-round" (hosting the teacher for up to a month). The 3 adults in this photograph from the mid-1890's are probably the female school teacher and 2 members of the school committee. By this time, although women could not vote, they could serve on school committees. Only unmarried women were allowed to teach.