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Community

June 10, 2012

One-room school, rural life museum open for the season

MERCER COUNTY AREA — Mercer County Historical Society has opened the Caldwell One-Room School, on Mercer-Greenville Road, halfway between Mercer and Greenville.

The schoolhouse will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays from  through Labor Day, including holidays.

Caldwell One-Room School represents over 300 one-room schools throughout Mercer County history. The building houses artifacts, books, and other memorabilia that tell the story of how rural Americans were educated prior to the consolidation of schools in the mid 1900’s.

The schoolhouse was previously under the direction of the late Mae “Joannie Appleseed” Beringer who, along with her husband Harry, welcomed guests to the school on Sundays for over forty years.

With Mrs. Beringer’s death in 2009 at the age of 100 years, members of the Mercer County Chapter of PA School Retirees and others have volunteered to staff the schoolhouse. They will be on hand to answer questions about one-room school education, along with help from historical society interns. Also of interest is the Teachers’ Garden that surrounds the schoolhouse, and the outdoor oven and colonial fireplace on the grounds.

Last year, with the help of volunteers, the society  scanned all the photos and archives from the school. Copies of these will be available on DVDs at the schoolhouse. We will also have copies of The Mercer County One-Room School Story 1800-1960, written by Mrs. Beringer, and available for $35 plus tax.

While visiting the one-room school, please consider visiting the MCHS Rural Life Museum located behind Avalon Springs - the old County Home  - on the same road and sharing the same hours.

For more information, or to schedule a group tour on a day other than Sunday, please call our office at 724-662-3490.

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Also, The Rural Life Museum of the Mercer County Historical Society will be open on Sundays and most holidays from 1 to 5 p.m. through October. The Rural Life Museum is located behind Avalon Springs (the old Mercer County Home) about a mile north of Mercer Borough on Route 58 — drive under the elevated walkway in front of Avalon Springs, and look to your right to see the museum or use the new driveway. Dale Boyd returns as the curator.

The Rural Life Museum celebrates Mercer County’s agricultural and rural life from family life to working the fields and from earliest days of Mercer County to yesterday.

The exhibits are child friendly and there is never any admission fee.

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