The Old 1885 Glawe One-Room Schoolhouse of Ocqueoc, Michigan
It was just a little one-room country schoolhouse, but it's an interesting one.
Northern Michigan was booming in the lumber and farm trades, and that meant more people arriving. So many, that the town of Ocqueoc in Presque Isle County decided it was time to build a school. Land for a school was donated by Christian Glawe, and after construction in 1885, the school was named after him.
The one-room Glawe schoolhouse was located on Ocqueoc Highway, sitting southside next to the present-day Lutheran Church. Upon opening, the school had 17 students in attendance with Emma Platts as the first teacher, with wages $20 per month.
What was a school day like?
1) All students walked to school, or arrived by horse-drawn sleigh during deep-snow days.
2) After the teacher rang the bell, each day kicked off with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
3) The school taught grades 1 through 8 all in the same room. The basic classroom subjects were arithmetic, geography, grammar, history, hygiene, penmanship, and reading. Taught in groups instead of all at once, one group had a session while the others sat quietly. After awhile, groups would be switched until all kids took the lesson.
4) The older boys took care of the wood stove during cold months, supplying wood donated by the parents. All older students made sure the water bucket was filled, which had one dipper that was used by all the kids to drink from.
5) A smart-ass kid or troublemaker? He or she would be placed standing in a corner in front of the class.
6) For lunch: many times students would bring containers of soup that were all poured into one pot for all the kids to share.
Now, what were the contract stipulations to be a teacher?
THE 1920s TEACHER'S CONTRACT (courtesy of migenweb.org):
"If you just agree to the following stipulations and sign this contract we may be able to use you. Miss________________________________ agrees:
1. Not to get married. This contract becomes null and void immediately if the teacher marries.
2. Not to keep company of men.
3. To be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless in attendance at a school function.
4. Not to loiter downtown in ice cream parlors.
5. Not to leave town at any time without the permission of the Chairman of Trustees.
6. Not to smoke cigarettes. This contract becomes null and void immediately if the teacher is found smoking.
7. Not to drink beer, wine, or whiskey. This contract becomes null and void immediately if the teacher is found drinking beer, wine, or whiskey.
8. Not to ride in a carriage or automobile with any man except her brother or father.
9. Not to dress in bright colors.
10. Not to dye her hair.
11. Not to wear less than two petticoats.
12. Not to wear dresses shorter than two inches above the ankle.
13. To keep the schoolroom clean:
a. To sweep the classroom floor at least once daily.
b. To scrub the classroom floor at least weekly with soap and hot water.
c. To clean the blackboard at least once daily.
d. To start the fire at 7 a.m. so that the room will be warm by 8 a.m. when the
14. Not to wear face powder, mascara, or to paint the lips."
Imagine trying to live up to THAT contract these days!
Years later, a committee was formed that included former students who wanted to preserve the memories of the school. Classes ceased in 1964 and the school was moved to its present-day location near 40 Mile Point where it now contains memorabilia and exhibits.
The Old Glawe One-Room Schoolhouse, Presque Isle County
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