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Local history preserved in one-room school house

Local history preserved in one-room school house
Local history preserved in one-room school house | Local history preserved in one-room school house
Special Features Editor
In the days when education was considered a true responsibility of each community and schools were more responsible to the parents of their students than to Washington bureaucrats, one-room school houses abounded.
In Obion County, there were 106 of the buildings devoted to instilling a respect for readin’, writin’ and ’rithmetic in the minds of the young at one period of history.
Buildings like the former Maupin School, which was originally located behind the Denzil Maupin home on Maupin Road, were constructed because the law said no child could be required to walk — in those pre-motorized vehicle days — more than six miles to school.
The buildings were mostly simple structures, much like the one that will be open to the public when Discovery Park of America welcomes visitors later this year.
Originally on display at the former Obion County Museum site in Union City, Maupin School was moved to DPA several months ago and will featured in the Mill Ridge area.
A teacher’s desk, students’ desks, a chalk board, a woodburning stove, a 43-star flag, books and other fixtures that would have been familiar to students more than a century ago will be on display.
What visitors will not see or feel will be the conveniences taken for granted in present-day schools. And those modern innovations include far more than computers, tiled floors, lined notebook paper and writing implements that don’t have to be filled from inkwells or sharpened with knives. For DPA guests will also notice the absence of restrooms, electric lights, air conditioning and cafeterias. All are far more recent additions to the educational scene and would never even have been thought of in the days when Maupin School was constructed.
DPA visitors may also get a feel for education that was up-close-and-personal, since there were no mandated space requirements or limits on the number of students in a class, and boys and girls of all ages learned their lessons from one teacher in one small room.
Some visitors are sure to be relieved that times have changed; others may feel some of the old-fashioned ideas might have been best, after all. All will get a chance to form their own opinions and experience something of a typical school day for their great-grandparents (and perhaps even further back) at DPA very soon.
Published in The Messenger 4.11.13

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