The Old Country School

Stowell Hill  Lindley District 6
  *  Today's educators may look with scorn on the old country school, but there a lot of us today's Sr. citizen group who got their first introduction to the 3R's in just such a place. 
       They called our neighborhood school the Willowdale school, and it had been there a long time when I ventured through the front door at the age of 5 and left at the age of 11 for high school.
 It had none of the comforts of today's overdone classrooms-it was the typical one room school; no insulation, no store windows, tall windows on three sides of the room, a heatrola stove sat in the middle with its stovepipe stretched clear to the back of the room into the outside chimney. It was a nice looking stove, but its heating ability left much to be desired. I wonder how we kept from freezing, then I remember the long winter underwear, the
flannel petticoats, the woolen stockings, the heavy sweaters . On bad days,  we huddled close to the stove. Teacher would usually try to make hot cocoa for lunch; sometimes the mothers got together and brought a hot meal.There were no school buses, and I guess having to buck the fierce west wind on our way to school helped toughen us up for life ahead.
    We walked around snowdrifts, took along a stick of wood to protect us from the neighbors geese and seldom missed a day of school.
    Our school was quite modern by the standards of those days in that we had chemical toilets. There was an outside privy, but we did not have to cope with snowdrifts in the winter and yellow jackets in the summer.
       A pail of drinking water was fetched each morning from the closest farm and placed on a shelf in the entry way.  We were supposed to have our own cup, but most drank from the dipper. One of the older kids would have the honor of hanging out the flag each morning and bringing it in at night. We were taught never to let it touch the ground and we treated it with great respect.
 Without a doubt, some of our Senior Citizens will be reminded of their School Days and their experiences as students. Some of these stories have been shared at Lindley-Presho Historical Society meetings.
I neglected to mention
The photo of this Lindley Schoolhouse and photos of most of the other 1 room Lindley Schools are on display in the lobby of the Lindley, NY. Town Hall.
There is, also, a collection of photos of students and teachers from these schools on display in the lobby.
 Stop by and find a picture of your ancestor.
*Another old clipping from the files. Author unknown


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