Old School

Renner School House, Dallas Heritage Village

I was wandering around, looking into the historic buildings that have been moved from all over North Texas into Old City Park, now Dallas Heritage Village. Some kid walked into the Renner School House at the same time I did.

“Can you imagine going to school in a room like this?” I asked.

“I’ve been here before, I think. I think it was a field trip,” he answered.

“Look at how each chair holds the desk for the person behind them. Oh, do you know what the little holes are for?”

“For the inks!” he said.

“It’s a shame we can’t go upstairs or play in the playground,” the kid said. “Do you know what all these cans hanging on the wall are for?”

I said, “Those are what the kids brought their lunch to school in. See, they are little metal buckets. They called them lunch pails.”

I kept running into the kid as I walked around the place and he would leave his family, walk up to me and point out something. In the historic barnyard he was looking around, trying to find the rooster that was crowing.

“I think it’s a recording,” I said. “They are playing that sound over and over.”

“It sure sounds real,” he said.

The historic Renner School House, in Dallas Heritage Village, with the skyscrapers of downtown rearing up in the background.

Lunch pails hung on the wall pegs at the Renner School House.

Daily Reader.

Renner School House desks.

12 responses to “Old School

  1. This is a really cool post. We have something similar in Glasgow. It is called Scotland Street Museum. I remember going there on a school trip when I was in primary five (age nine, roughly). We were doing a WW2 project and we dressed up as kids from that era and we sat through a lesson with our teacher. She was so stern and so strict. My hands were shaking the entire time – I think she really enjoyed herself. We had to stand and recite/spell out words – I think mine was ‘siren’. Man, it was so scary. She had the belt, but of course, wasn’t allowed to use it; however, she was so convincing that it was hard not to be afraid. Perhaps the scariest thing was to hear the bell ring at the end of the lesson and to see her morph straight back into her cheery self – eek!

    Sounds like you had a nice day out, Bill. 🙂

  2. Now this id really cool. The very first school, I attended had desks like these. No lunch pails buy definitely the desks. Great post. Takes me back. Way to back.

  3. I have an old school desk that came out of the country school my grandparents attended. (They were born in 1902 and 1903.) My grandfather knew he sat in this particular desk because he had carved some specific notches into the desk when the teacher wasn’t looking.

    He also dipped my grandmother’s braids into his inkwell.

  4. We inherited those classrooms in Idaho and Utah after World War II. Hot lunch programs eliminated the pails (we used a Howdy Doody lunch box or a paper bag when we carried our lunch), and we used pencils or ballpoints (in third grade) instead of inkwells. Those classrooms typically had 12 foot ceilings, and lots of windows for lots of natural light — stark contrast to today’s caves and dungeons.

  5. There is a place in my town where old buildings have been moved to form a village. It’s called Fiddler’s Grove. It’s cool during fair time because it becomes an active historical environment. However, it has always bothered me that the buildings have been moved from their original locations. It seems that part of the history has been taken away.

    Great post.

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  9. I remember riding my bicycle past the old Renner School at its original location in the town of Renner back in the late 1960’s when it was unpainted and used solel for hay storage. An imposing structure even then as it stood out for miles above the flat terrain.

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