Ephemera is a broad term used to describe items of paper that were created for use in a short time span and meant to be thrown away after one or two uses. Items generally put into the ephemera category of collecting would be sheet music, posters, stock certificates, post cards, cigarette cards, magazines, catalogs, and the like.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One Room School House

Madeline went to school in a one room school house in South Newbury, NH called South School.  This unique experience was a major factor in shaping her personality I believe.  Here are a few school photos:

This photo was taken in 1929.  Madeline is the second from the left, first row.

This pic is from 1933.  She is smack in the middle of the first seated row.

Here is one of her school books:

This is a workbook with lessons and quizzes.

Example of inside page.

I found a test paper inside.  (You knew she'd have one!)

Back side of test.

Here's an old spelling book we found at the house.  It's too old to be one of Madeline's school books I believe.  Here is some info I found about one room school houses in South Newbury:

Much of the vitality of a village came from its young population, and schools are required for their education. The original South Newbury Schoolhouse, in need of repairs, was moved from its site next to the church in the 1850s to Sleepy Street, where it was renovated and where Lorenzo Heath lived. A new school house (the present Friendship House) was built in 1853. When Newbury became part of a seven-town centralized school district, elementary school children were sent to Bradford, and the many small one-room schools were abandoned or put to other use.

By the 1900s, South Newbury abounded with children. Richard Perkins reports that in the late 1930s and early 1940s, there were up to 35 students in the one-room school house. Some of the seventh graders were sent to the Center School in Newbury to alleviate overcrowding. After eighth grade, students went by train to Warner for high school, and some to Newport. School was an opportunity for socializing as well as learning. Several residents who grew up in the area in the 1930s remember winter toboggan and double-runner bobsled rides that started up on Old Post Road. Perkins says, “Ten kids would climb aboard and take a run down Old Post Road, ending up in the parking lot of the Church on a really good ride.” This was before the new Route 103 brought traffic and barriers that put an end to the toboggan runs. “Often in winter,” says Perkins, “we would skip lunch at school to go skating on the ponds. There was a ski jump built for the Grange Winter Carnival across from the church. The hill there was much higher before the state took much of it for road fill for Route 103.”

A summer term was usually taught by a woman; students included the youngest children. During the winter a male teacher taught the older boys, who had less work on the farms during that season. Students throughout the year ranged from tots of 4-5 to girls in their late teens to young men in their 20s.

The school in South Newbury, now known as Friendship House, was built about 1853. In 1855 Martha S. Shepard was paid $18 for teaching nine weeks of summer school. George W. Skinner received $43.64 for teaching nine weeks in the winter. A broom and chalk purchased for the school cost 37 cents; a water dipper cost 15 cents.

Here is a photo of Madeline's school:


  1. Oh honestly, that is just fascinating. I can't imagine that there are many things like this that were kept!

    That's amazing!


  2. I grew up on Village Road in South Newbury. Loved this piece of history you've shared.

  3. I grew up on Village Road in South Newbury and attended Newbury Central School (two-room schoolhouse!). Thanks for sharing this nugget of history.