Sepia Saturday - Old School

Photo: CrazyasaCoolFox
(click to magnify)
This photo shows an orderly class doesn't it? This was my 3rd grade class. My teacher was Grace Dougherty, our pastor's wife, is seated in the rear. She was one of my favourite teachers. I'm front and center in this photo. The photographer shot the photo just as I was putting some books inside my desk. You can speculate why my assigned seat is next to the teacher's desk. :)

The classes here were organized so that kindergarten was in a separate building in another part of town. Grades 1-3 were in this building called the Jacob F. Spaulding School, and finally grades 4-8 were in the newer Memorial School school attached to the Spaulding. You can see part of the new Memorial School through the windows in the background.

It was a treat to go to "graduate" to 4th grade because the Memorial was brand new and just attached to the Spaulding during my 3rd grade year. At recess we watched fascinated as all the workers and machinery milled around next door.

The Spaulding was named after one of the town's benefactors. Mr. Spaulding apparently was the local church pastor and town physician. He also held many town offices. He obtained many of the funds necessary to build this school. He must of been a very busy and highly respected man.

The Spaulding and the Memorial are still used today by a private school and a Boy's and Girl's Club. The Town of Salisbury built a new elementary school about a mile north.

The inside of the school had highly polished wooden floors and separate coat rooms off the central corridors. In the winter would hang our coats, hats, and mittens and place our wet boots in a spot below. There were high windows which could open from the top with the use of a long wooden pole. Each classroom had one and it was a treat to be chosen to use that pole to pull those huge windows open on a warm day.

The classroom pictured above is second floor, right side.
Photo: L. Bograd
There was a hand rung fire alarm. Our janitor would pull a steel tube which rang large round style bells on all three floors. When we heard this we were trained to quietly file outside to the playground, line up and wait for the all clear signal.

During this time there was a special separate signal for a civil defense drill. We weren't told this but those drills were to prepare us to survive a nuclear blast. When we heard four quick gongs we were to file quietly to the basement and sit on the floor up against the foundation with our heads between our knees. This was rather scary for a 3rd grader.

I can remember clearly being dismissed from school early and unexpectedly on an October day, to be with our families when President Kennedy spoke to the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis. This was as close as the world had ever come to a nuclear holocaust.

Terror is timeless. We survived that era of terror. We will survive this era.
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