Over 30 students from St. John’s Lutheran School went back in time Wednesday and spent a day at the Willow School — a one room school house that sits on quiet Mineral Springs Road in the village of Waltz in Huron Township.
On a hot and humid late May day, the sixth and seventh grade students dressed up in the typical clothing style worn at the turn of the century, and engaged in activities that were common in those days, including script writing, recitation and spinning.
“Script writing is the way people wrote 100 years ago,” said Rowena Zimmerman, a science and literature teacher at St. John’s who was heading Wednesday’s field trip.
Zimmerman said that the way the students were dressed during the field trip and the activities they did were common to those of people living sometime between the late 1800s and the early 1900s.
“For the recitations, the students had to memorize a popular quote and get up in front of the class and recite it word for word ,” Zimmerman said.
The students ate “pioneer lunches” during the field trip, and played games during recess that school children played one hundred years ago.
The students also received a public safety presentation from the Huron Township Fire Department at the nearby fire station, and were fingerprinted inside of the school house by the Huron Township Police.
The school house was originally built in 1855 and sat at the corner of Willow and Waltz roads in Huron Township, and was painstakingly moved to where it sits today.
It closed in 1948 and — fast forward to the 2000s — was refinished through the efforts of the Huron Township Historical Society and Huron Historical Commission.
“The Huron Township Historical Society took control of the school in 2008, and gifted it to the Huron Historical Commission,” said Candace Myshock, secretary for both the historical society and commission.
“The school has all of the original doors, windows and walls,” she said.
Myshock said that they are hoping to continue with a few more additions to the school house, including a coal lien that would provide fuel for the school’s working pot belly stove, and a bell tower that would sit on top of the school.
The historical commission is looking to host regular field trips at the school in the future.
St. John’s field trip to the Willow School in Waltz
Photos by Scott Bolthouse