One-room Schoolhouse Days Relived by Rehoboth Pupils 

By Dave Downs

Taylor Sargent’s fourth grade Palmer River class, room 44, pose for pictures out in front of the Hornbine School


This was the fifty-first year that school children, from Rehoboth and surrounding communities,  have attended the  Hornbine School to re-enact a school day from the 19th century. 


This October, Palmer River School fourth grade children dressed in “old fashioned” clothes and visited the Hornbine School for the day

Children arrive at the school while Brenda Saben, their teacher for the day, rings the school bell.


Their first activity was to walk the short distance from their bus to the school in the brisk cold autumn air. Then they were introduced, among other things, to the outhouse.

Bathrooms have changed. But the “sanitary” remains a popular destination for the students during the day!


They learned that there are many other names given to this small building such as privy and sanitary.


After raising the flag and singing a patriotic song, the students entered the old school and were seated.

Third grade Students from Palmer River School seated and ready for the day’s instruction.


The class discussed common chores they would have completed in their daily lives before walking to school.


Helping Mom with the younger children; feeding the animals; bringing in wood for the fire; and milking the cows, were some of the chores discussed.

One activity was to write their lessons on a slate board.

Class activities included writing with a slate pencil on their slates; using a feather ink pen to write their name, school and date; reading “round robin” up at the teacher’s desk and practicing for the spelling bee.

(Most everyone visited the necessary!)

Towards the end of the morning, Frances Megan, who lives in the neighborhood, explained what it was like, when she attended the Hornbine School back in the 1930’s.


The pupils enjoyed listening to Frances. Then, the class went outside to eat lunch and play some “old fashioned” games like Jacob’s Ladder, Graces and roll the hoop.

Children eating lunch outside before playing “old fashioned” games for recess.

Following the Spelling Bee, the whole class gathered outside the school for pictures before returning to their classroom at The Palmer River School in Rehoboth.