Ottawa School House
Rockcastle County Kentucky
from the Ottawa School House Road.
Ottawa School House Missing
The old Ottawa School House where my father, his siblings and others in the Ottawa community went to school is now a memory of the past. Only bare dry earth like a freshly dug grave marks the place where the school house stood. Educated in the city schools of Dayton, Ohio I never knew the experience of the one room school house that my parents fondly remember. Today I am not sure when the school began, or when it closed it's doors for the last time. Below is a photo of the Ottawa School Class 1948-1949 Grades 1-8, taken from the book Rockcastle County Kentucky and It's People, page 57. The following are some remarks from folks who did attend the rural Rockcastle County schools.
"Not withstanding the crude facilities and the inconveniences associated with them, these were the good old days. The students mind had not yet been introduced to such modernistic trends. Many of the students had a girl/boy friend somewhere along the way. Instead of ruing the day for school to start, as the manner seems to prevail nowadays, they were anxious to hear the teacher's bell ring again, calling them to books."- submitted by Cecil W. Hayes
"The teacher, not only was the sole instrument in that room to impart knowledge, but usually at the same time, became a living role model for life." - submitted by Georgia F. Blanton
Geraldine French, a child from a one room country school and a teacher, submitted a lengthy remembrance describing the old school days of gathering kindling for firewood for the stove, having no electricity, and few papers and pencils, books or chalk. "Library books were scarce but most teachers used their own money to purchase books to read aloud to us. Many teachers read with such expression, as to make the characters seem to come life. Such books as : Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Little Women, Robinson Crusoe and more elementary books for the smaller children became real in our minds." She went on to describe walking to school over crook and stream, wet feet, wet clothes and cold lunches in lard pails. Memories my parents have described as well.
I have placed stars at the pictures of my aunt Lavonna Thompson, now Lavonna Payne, and my Uncle James Thompson. To my family, I thank you for sharing your memories of the one room school house.
If anyone has other pictures to share of Ottawa School, please email me.