In the 1930s and 40s, with limited bus transportation in the Cuyahoga Valley, many students walked or shared a ride to school. The roads were unpaved; dirt and snow made walking or driving slow and messy. Nevertheless, most children enjoyed learning and making use of the school playground.
They had school ‘bout like the Amish have it now. Within two mile, the schools are with each other, so they can walk to school, and we had to do the same thing. It finally got to where they had buses, but we walked to school. We lived under two mile. If you lived under two mile, why, you had to walk to school. We went to a one-room school. They was a school at Steels Corners and they was a school at Harts Corners; that’s where we live now. They was, I think, seven schools in the township altogether. And the schoolteachers, they boarded with the farmers ‘cause they had to be close to the schools so they could walk. I was janitor in the school at that time. ~laughs~ I had to keep the fire going in the potbellied stove and I had to clean, you know. I had to clean the floor every day. The teacher paid me out of her wages. I got two dollars a month for being janitor to the school.
Pat Morse talks about games she and fellow students played at their elementary school in Bath.
Oh, I always liked school. Where Bath Elementary School is now located there was what we always called “the portable” and that was a separate building away from the brick building, and you had a classroom on each side of the entry hall. So we could play ball over that building ~laughs~ and Andy Andy Over, and that was fun, and I think I remember the playground more than anything. ~laughs~ We used to have ice slides, if you can imagine letting kids now run and slide as far as you could slide, and they let us do it.
Unusual Places to Study
Carol Haramis, of Heritage Farms in Peninsula, describes how she did her homework outside in her favorite places.
We were expected—Weather permitting, we were expected to exercise the horses at least an hour a day, so which—that was a real hardship. You know, you’d say—I’d saddle up and, you know, head off to some trail, and got to the point where I had three or four places out on our farm and on the neighbor’s farm. It was not unusual for somebody walking through the trails, or riding their horses on the same trails I was on, to find me twenty-five feet up in a tree, doing my homework. And when I was thirteen, my parents bought me a really nice set of leather saddle bags that were big enough for my school books, because, you know, as soon as I had the stalls clean, I’d saddle up and I’d head somewhere. Part of it was, you know, goin’ to find someplace nice and quiet and fun to do my homework. And I think I would have been a really bad student if I had to sit in the house and do my homework all the time. I wound up gettin’ pretty good grades because I had really great places to study.