Little Red? A South Center School Segment

By Anne Tiffany

In 1990, returning to the family homestead where I was raised, I learned that my school was being called “Little Red.” I rather resented that … and anyway it was never red. Brownish, I remember. (This was 1934 to 1939.)

The building is now much larger with the rear addition, and the library has disappeared. Originally, when you entered there were doors on either side — right side to schoolroom and left to the library room.   Both went the entire length of the building. Each of those rooms took two-fifths of the width, leaving the center for entrance.

The immediate entrance was given over to the cloakroom, with its many hooks for coats (which were moved to the radiators on wet and snowy days) and a bench for removing our “arctics” worn from September to May, it seemed!

Continuing in you’d find the water fountain with the water running 24/7. There were two tiny rooms evident, which served as boys’ and girls’ rooms and all was well heated by a standing furnace.

Within the classroom, there was a circle of small chairs at one end for the “Dick and Jane” readings of the first grade. After that, the rows held the classes in ascending order with the numbers dropping as the students increased in age toward the back.

Our Monday mornings had a ritual. Each pupil had to go to the head of the room for an examination, with the hair inspected, clean hands displayed, and, of course, the clean handkerchief! (I managed to keep a clean one in my desk from Monday to Monday and hoped the teacher wouldn’t recognize the embroidery.)

Recess time was filled with strange games mostly from our own imagination and often eyes were watching from the library. I feared that librarian who wore those dark rimmed glasses, and often told my Mother about her. It was some time before I knew that person WAS my Mother, who served there from 1929 to 1962, when the library was discontinued.

IMG_1855 IMG_5865 IMG_8831 IMG_8832 IMG_8833 southcenter IMG_1853(Story to be continued in future issues.)


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