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PRESERVING THE PA DUTCH CULTURE
   
   
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Wandering Around "The Sticks"

Photography & Commentary by: Gregg P. Obstt

The Schoolhouse and the Birdhouse
This one-room schoolhouse is located on Allemaengel Road in New Tripoli, PA. It sits in a farm field and was converted, at some point, from a school into a storage building for the farmer who's land the building sits on. The sliding door that the farmer installed on the front is now missing but the rest of the structure seems to be in pretty sound condition.

I couldn't find any information at all about the name of the school or years of operation though the architecture and building materials are consistent with other one-room schools in the area that were built in the 1880-1910 time frame. The birdhouse on the tree makes it easy to imagine the school kids gathering under the tree for shade during warm June days and looking up to watch the birds.

Allemaengel Road
One Room Schoolhouse
Allemaengel Road
   
Leaser Lake
Do you have information on this building?
Email us at lhhs@lynnheidelberg.org.

Little Stone Building with a Chair
I was driving round random back roads in the Kempton/New Tripoli area back behind Leaser Lake when out of the corner of my eye I spotted this little building sitting in a field all alone. It had a wooden chair in it and the had windows on all sides, most of them shuttered.

It seemed like a ticket booth of some kind and there was a sign on a post about 200 feet further down in the field that said "Entrance" although there were no gates to enter through. The only thing I can think of is that it is used as a ticket booth for some seasonal activity like an auction or fair of some kind. It seemed awfully old, ornate and solidly built to be a seasonal ticket booth though. This will drive me nuts until I know what this was/is used for.

   

Schneider's School
This schoolhouse is located just off the thirteenth hole of the Olde Homestead Golf Club in New Tripoli, PA. (Editor's note: It was restored and preserved by the Historical Society’s Founder and past President, Carl. D. Snyder. It is opened to the public by appointment through our Historical Society. Come visit!)

Pennsylvania's Department of Education acquired land in New Tripoli from David Schneider in February 1851 for a new school building. A wood-frame building was constructed and became known as Schneider's One-Room School, where first through eighth grades were taught.

The school was then rebuilt between 1880 and 1890 in accordance with state architectural specifications for one-room schoolhouses. Designed to accommodate a maximum of fifty students the cost of the new brick building was $300. The school was in continuous use from 1852 through 1946. Originally there were two outhouses, one for boys and one for girls. All of the students and the teacher walked to school, and school was never canceled due to snow or ice. Since most of the students were from farm families, the school was closed for two weeks in the fall so the students could help with the harvest.

Schneider's School
Schneider's School
   
Mail Pouch Barn
Mail Pouch Barn

Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn
This barn is located on PA Route 309 near New Tripoli, PA. All the yellow Mail pouch lettering has worn off on this one. This is Mail Pouch Barn # 38-39-02. It borders the Olde Homestead Golf Club.

I only had a few hours to shoot this day, so I spent it "freestyling", (to borrow a term from "American Pickers") and shooting different barns, outbuildings and one-room schoolhouses on the back roads of northwestern Berks County and southwestern Lehigh County. You can find some good stuff when you just fill up the gas tank and wander around in "the sticks".

   

Werleys Corner One Room Schoolhouse
Every so often I find a schoolhouse that despite my best research attempts, I cannot dig up anything about its history. The Werleys Corner Schoolhouse in Weisenberg Township, PA is just such an example.

I've photographed this school several times and it has always sort of bothered me that it had those wide doors on the one side. The doors initially made me think that this was not a school at all but rather a small barn, but after talking to some of the locals, it was indeed confirmed to be a school. There is a double outhouse in the back of the property. There is another schoolhouse about a half mile from where I live that has a similar wide door on one side. The only thing I can think of is that they opened the big door in the warmer months to get more ventilation in the school.

I recently got a copy of a book written in 1851 by Henry Barnard entitled "School Architecture, or Contributions to the Improvement Of School Houses in the United States". It's a pretty interesting read and I hope somewhere in that book it will tell me why some schools had these big doors incorporated into their design. The only nugget of historical information I could find on the school so far is that it closed in 1956 when all the Weisenberg Township one-room schoolhouses closed and were consolidated into other larger schools.

New Tripoli Band
Schoolhouse on Werlys Corner Road
   
Double seat outhouse
Double Seat Outhouse

A little sanding, water seal and it will be like new...
A double seat outhouse once used by school children in the late 1800s/early 1900s stands in disrepair in the back yard of the Werleys Corner One-Room Schoolhouse.

Located at the corner of Werleys Corner Road and Carpet Road in Werleys Corner, PA which is a remote suburb of Lehigh County, PA.

   

About Gregg P. Obstt, from Gregg:
I shoot mostly with a Nikon D300 body. I use a mix of Nikon and Sigma lenses and Nikon and Norman flashes. Doesn't really matter what you shoot with. They're just tools. It's how you use them that matters.

Currently, I shoot about 40% wildlife and 60% landscapes with a particular interest in landscapes that include old buildings, covered bridges, one-room schoolhouses, grist mills, barns, etc.

"Pixel peepers be forewarned, I have Photoshop CS5 and I am not afraid to use it!" - Gregg Obst

 
 

 
 
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