Monday, September 9, 2013
Old Sodom Schoolhouse
Since it does not appear as if the building is open for public viewing, I was forced to do a bit of internet research to learn about this unique structure.
Built around 1815, the Sodom Schoolhouse, sometimes called the Octagonal Schoolhouse, was constructed by Scotch-Irish settlers and precedes the Pennsylvania's Common School Act of 1834. The Methodists of Sodom were the Sodomites who built and used the building. It is located just three miles east of Lewisburg on route 45 in central Pennsylvania.
A local tavern owner, Lot Carson, donated the materials. The organization and construction of the building was the work of the locals, as was typical before government programs were established.
Limestone quarried nearby was used to build the single story structure. It has a single chimney in the center of the roof, seven windows, and one door facing the road on the south side.
A cupola and bell once stood above the front door, and a vestibule was formerly attached where the children hung their coats.
The inside walls were painted slate grey, and a wood burning stove stood in the center.
On the north wall was a blackboard, with a 30 foot long, 10 foot wide, and 8-10 inch elevated platform for the teacher. The teacher's desk and chair were painted red.
Two recitation benches faced the platform. Six long rough desks were placed parallel to the side walls and two more were placed in the center of the room.
The Sodomites no longer meet there, nor do they own the building. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) now owns the Sodom Schoolhouse, the only known memorial to the former Sodom Community in Pennsylvania.
Sometimes I try to imagine what it must have been like to attend school in a one room schoolhouse long ago. My how far we've come nowadays.
I suppose we could look at it another way: could those students even imagine 100 years ahead to a time when every student had access to a laptop computer? Now there's something to think about...