Thursday, October 13, 2011

Society Initiates Michigan School House Memory Project

Did you attend a Michigan rural school?  Does your grandmother's diary mention time she spent as a rural school teacher before she married your grandfather?  Perhaps included in your family pictures is a group of students standing in rows in front of a small frame or brick school, and even though you don't know all of the students' names, you know that your Dad is front row center.

The Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society (VBRGS) has begun a "One-Room School Memory Project," whereby they are seeking submissions from those individuals who have memories to share of the rural school experience in Michigan.   In August, they announced the project to be in collaboration with the Bess Britton Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse Collection housed in Van Buren District Library local history department.  The first installment of the project, submitted by Diane Tichenor featuring Toad Hollow School in Kalamazoo County, was published in the August issue of the VBRGS quarterly, Van Buren Echoes.

"VBRGS wishes to support the efforts of the library in their pursuit of information about any Michigan rural school," indicates Joyce Beedie, society president.  "We also want to help increase awareness about the school collection so that more people may participate in the project by sharing their memories, stories, school records, and pictures."

School memories are another one of those areas of local history that are truly unique and priceless.  As the rural school generations pass away, we risk losing a very important part of our cultural history, and you may be able to fill a page in history that no-one else can.  Every person's memories are unique.  Your memories might include names of students and teachers, courses that you took, games played at recess and in the classroom, discipline methods, duties and responsibilities of the students, teachers & board members, class plays & picnics, life before indoor plumbing, and the list goes on an on...

Submissions to the "One-Room School Memory Project" will be considered for inclusion in future issues of the Echoes.  All original material will then be turned over to the library for inclusion in the project archives.  Visit the project website for more information about how to submit information.  Contact the local history department for any questions about the Bess Britton Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse Collection which now represents just over 4,700 Michigan schools.

Nameless Picture of the Day
Mystery Solved!
In our September 9 post, we had a photo of an unknown farm (catalog #M1814), somewhere on U.S. 12, submitted for identification by Erika Bonaparte:

Connie Ashcraft saw the posting and thought she recognized the home as one that she frequently drives past, located at 62734 Territorial Road, Lawrence; she took four photographs of the house and submitted them to us, one shown below;  after close scrutiny, we are of the opinion that this is the same house; what do you think? 

 62734 Territorial Road
 Thank you to Connie for assisting us with a probable identification of this farm home