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Return to Milestones Vol. 2, No. 3



Milestones Vol 2 No 3--Summer 1976

The Richmond Little Red School on Dutch Ridge Road in Brighton Township has been restored so that visitors may see a typical pioneer school of the past.

A group of fifteen area residents organized in March of 1970 to plan for the restoration. Through their efforts, the necessary desks, blackboards, pot belly stove, organ, books and bookcases were obtained. Many of these items were used in this particular school and donated by area residents.

Research has uncovered the original "sheepskin" land grant dated 1779. The school (which was also known as District No. 2) was a part of the original land grant to John Strawbridge in July 1786. Strawbridge deeded to John and Rebecca Nible in 1818 and they deeded to Brighton Township Directors in 1844 for the sum of $850.00. School was started in 1844 and closed in 1950. It was restored and dedicated Sept. 13, 1970.

Many fond memories recall the old school: the call to order by ringing of the old school bell; the scripture reading; the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, followed by a song. We remember how the pupils went up front and sat on recitation bench before the teachers desk as they were called upon to read or recite and the fun of recess and lunch periods when pupils would participate in all kind of games. A pump supplied water tfrom the well where a dipper from a bucket was the drinking fountain. An enamel basin was the washing facility for dirty hands and faces. Several shelves held lunch pails and baskets and pegs under shelves held coats and hats. A pot belly stove furnished heat, and was quite crowded on the cold winter days. Oil lamps on the walls and ceiling furnished the lighting.

The maps were on rollers like a window blind and hung over the blackboard. Staying after school to help the teacher sweep the floor, carry in coal, and wash the blackboard was always fun even if you were called "teachers pet."

This school was used as a community center for social activities which included pie socials, box socials, spelling bees, and literary programs. Henry Bowen was responsible for starting Sabbath School and Church Services in this school on Sundays and various preachers volunteered their services. Later Richmond Chapel was built and dedicated for this purpose.