This is a picture of the Harrisville School that I graduated from in the 8th grade.  My cousin, Carl sent it to me and what a flood of memories this has brought back.  Thank you Carl, I didn’t have a picture of the old school.  This was the graded school in Harrisville center when the town was incorporated in 1870.  There were several other small one room school houses around town.  Two in Eastview, one up beyond the dump on the old Dublin road, and at least two in Chesham.  These schools were all closes as state requirements increased to the point that they could not be met.  One such requirement was for a playground.  One of the Eastview school gave the playground as “up the road as far as you can see, and down the road as far as you can see.”  That was the last year that that school remained open.  Requiring indoor plumbing closed the last of the small schools.  This school had flush toilets long before most of the home did.  There were two class rooms, one on each floor.  As you walked in the front door there was a large hall with two doors leading into the class room and a long hall down the lenght of the building on the right.  The rest rooms were off of that hall on the right with a large book storeage room at the end.  We all remember using those rest rooms.  The teacher had four grades to teach at once so if you needed to use the rest room you raised your hand with either one finger up or two fingers up telling the teacher what you had to do so she would know how long you would be out of the room.  All she had to do was nod her head and not interupt her teaching.  My father and Carl’s mother both graduated from this school in the 8th grade.  I don’t know if Aunt Angie went on to high school or not but my dad went by train to Wilton to high school, and then on to the University of New Hampshire for one semester before joining the army in WWI.

This is my father’s graduation picture from High School.   Wilton was also a mill town so there were not many children at that time that went to High School.  This was his whole class.  He worked as well as went to school from the time he was about 10 years old.  Several of the years in his first eight grades he was janitor of the school as well as teacher’s assistant in teaching the students.  He never was much of a teacher as he could not get down to the level of the ones who were having trouble learning but he always tried.  His sister, Angie was just as smart as he was but his brother Bing couldn’t understand him at all.  They loved each other but had trouble communicating.

This is my second grade picture.  I am in the front row on the far left.  Carl you will recognize your bother and two sisters.  Angie is behind me in the second row and Bob is right behind her.  Mary Lou is in the center beside Richard Record.  My brother Warren is behind Mary Lou in the top row.  You can see the big bandage on my knee.  I was always banged up, I was such a Tom boy!

This is my third grade picture.  I am in second row, third in from the left next to Mary Lou.  Her two sisters are in this picture also.  Elenor is in that same row third from the right and Angie May is in the top row 5th from the right.    The next picture is my 4th grade.  After this one we moved upstairs and those pictures my brother had so I don’t have a copy of those.  I am on the top row, first one on the left between Tootie Mack with her beautiful curls and Earl Lounder (Alegator Bait) Mary Lou is second from the right in that second row and her sister is 4th from the right in the first row. 

The last picture is my graduation picture from the 8th grade.  This was the largest grade to graduate from Harrisville School up to that time.  By then we had some kids from Chesham School also.  Our teacher was Miss Boynton who had taught in the Harrisville School for ever.  We went to Boston for our class trip.  We went on the train but I don’t remember what we did when we got there.   Hope you enjoyed my memories.  Have a great day.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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2 Responses to

  1. Joyce Larrabee says:

    This was very interesting Carol and brought back memories of my school days. I went to school in a one room school-house. Two kids to a desk, and it was a very small school. I remember having to raise our hands to go to the bath-room, and to use either one finger or two. I was the janitor there when I was in the 8th. grade, and also after I graduated and went to High School I still had the janitor job. I lived just across the road from Grammer School. Went to Ossipee High in Ctr. Ossipee. Those were the good ole days. Thanks Carol.

    • Hi Joyce, I bet there aren’t half a dozen people out there that remember what the one finger or two fingers mean but those of us that lived through it will never forget. Did you have to take the cod liver oil every week also. We had to line up at the sink with our spoon and the teacher would give it to us, some kids just couldn’t stomach it and threw it up, thus the line at the sink. I wished many times I could throw it up but never did.

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