Big Red Brick School

Big Red Brick New Plymouth School 1904 (BRS). The bricks came from the Bean farm, Southeast at bend of old Hwy 30.  Digging that big drain ditch exposed a bed of clay suitable for bricks. Beans were renting the farm in 1904 when the bricks were made.  Shurtz owned the farm during my time.(See Fern Anderson’s interview of Mildred Bean.)

This building was built in two parts–first, front half, in 1904 had a cupola–very stylish at the time–and “1904” over the front door. When second, back half, was built in 1915 they took off the cupola–this makes it distinguishable from other schools like Fruitland’s. Rumor has it that the cupola became a fire hazard. All the grades that they had were in this building.  They had moved here from the Little Grey Schoolhouse, which was then turned to other uses.

You can date this photo to 1931 because behind it one can make out the old Mountain View school that had just been moved into town.

The next year or so would see the Valley View school building also moved here in 1933 or 1934. Janie Fitzsimmons told me she went to the fifth grade in this building in 1935.

With a new high school coming on-line in 1939, New  Plymouth would again have more room and more modern facilities, so the first small White #2 was declared surplus, sold and moved away to become a rental.

All the classrooms in the BRS included a “cloakroom”  a long narrow room along one side–inside were hooks to hang coats and shelves to put ones lunch pail or sack.  During my 12 yrs of school (1939-1951) the term would morph to “coatroom” and no one would recognize the “cloakroom” word afterward.

My son, today, teases me about some PV colloquialisms still in my speech from growing up in PV.  Example:  instead of look at, or look here, I say lookie here or there.  Instead of take him, I say takeem.   There are many more.  All over the country, in every small community, local vernaculars had many words only used by the locals–similar to accents, which they also had.  WWII brought so many people away from small farms into military or cities where they gradually saw those dissimilar things disappear and “melted” all the differences into a more homogenous communication.  this was greatly abbetted by radio and tv annoucers who went to schools where they learned the new normal American-ese.




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