Sunday, December 26, 2010


Pioneer Day at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Palm Beach is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, January 15, 2011 from 1-3 pm.  Check with the Preservation Foundation at  561-832-0731. It is now home to a program of Palm Beach’s living history taking children back in time for a mini-day in a one-room school of the 1890’s, home to The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.

The Little Red Schoolhouse is in Phipps Ocean Park in Palm Beach, 2185 South Ocean Drive in Palm Beach.  Refurbished in 1960 by the Gardeners Society of Palm Beach and the Town of Palm Beach, it remained unused until 1990 when it became part of the pioneer education program.  Education in America’s one-room schoolhouses stressed discipline, moral values and “the 3 R’s.”  Visiting students today participate in a spelling bee, trace Spencerian script and recite from Tom Sawyer, Little Women, The Ancient Mariner and McGuffey’s Readers.  Period artifacts are also part of the pioneer educational experience.

Starting with seven students in 1886, there were 35 students by the 1880’s.  The schoolhouse was located about a mile north of the Royal Poinciana Bridge on Lake Trail in Palm Beach.  Children arrived by boat, bicycle or on foot from Lake Worth families and were all taught together in one room.  The school ceased operation in 1901 and became a tool shed on the John S. Phipps property, falling into decline and deterioration in future years.  

Preserving past educational history and its artifacts is so important to the school children of today.  There are interesting positive lessons to learn from the past.

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