Ohio Schoolhouse

For years they filed in, all petticoats and overalls, lunches of apples and cornbread in pails at their sides.

They sat in hard seats and learned arithmetic. They learned to name the rivers that snake through the state of Ohio, the curve of the cursive R.

They were warmed in the winter by the potbelly stove, the laces of their boots frayed at the ends.

They grew up to be farmers. Farmer’s wives.

Mothers. Milk men. Sellers of tractors and grain by the bushel.

Their children were bussed to the school in town, the school with a room for each grade. The school that would close in 1962, combined with the other, divided by age.

More years would pass.

The children grew up.

And the one room school house would sit in the field, unoccupied except for the occasional vagrant. The barn owl or farm cat, the squirrels who nested in the ceiling beams.

The weeds would grow, the cattails and clover. The roof would fold inward. Rocks would be thrown and windows would crack.

Where there had been laughter and learning and leaning back in chairs, there would be holes in the roof where the sunlight spilled in.

There’d be a girl in tall boots for wading through knee-high weeds. There’d be the lens of a camera, a hawk overhead, the ghosts of girls in petticoats standing by a rusted-out stove.

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  1. What a gorgeous building. And an amazing visual. Chills!
    Dwija {House Unseen} recently posted..First Piano Performance at BCreative LaunchMy Profile

  2. Kara says:

    My grandmother went to a school like that in Ohio. I used to believe she was just like Laura Ingalls.

  3. What a fabulous post. I really love the photograph, and you took me right back in time. So great, ML.
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  4. Edith says:

    I know that the building is old and worn, but the picture just looks so pretty.
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  5. Marie Cole says:

    Beautiful…I always see old schoolhouses and see them as they once were too….Great picture!
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