The one-room schoolhouse is an enduring symbol of education in America.  Most buildings were of simple frame construction, some with the school bell in a cupola.  The blackboard really was a black board, made of wide boards painted black.  It was not until much later that slate was used for chalkboards, although students often had individual slates for writing practice.  The quality of facilities at one-room schools varied with local economic conditions, but generally the number of children at each grade level would vary with local populations.
 
A typical school day was 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a morning and an afternoon recess of 15 minutes each and an hour period for lunch.  The older students were given the responsibility of bringing in water, carrying in coal or wood for the stove.  The younger students would be given responsibilities according to their size and gender such as cleaning the blackboard, taking the erasers outside for dusting plus other duties that they were capable of doing.
 
Teachers in one-room schools, often former students themselves, were very special people.  During the winter months they would get to the school early to get a fire started in the potbelly stove so the building would be warm for the students.  On many occasions they would prepare a hot, noon meal on top of the stove, usually consisting of soup or stew of some kind.  They took care of their students like a new mother hen would care for her newly hatched chicks, always looking out for their health and welfare.
 
The school house was the center and focus for thousands of rural communities, hamlets, and small towns.  Often, town meetings and picnics were held there.