December 2016 - St. Augustine FL
We spent a couple of chilly days in St. Augustine last week. One of the places to visit was the oldest wooden schoolhouse in America.
It so happened that it was right near us in the historic district.
It cost $5 to enter.
The exact date of construction is unknown, but it first appears on tax records in 1716. There are no extant wooden buildings in St. Augustine built prior to 1702 when the British burned the city.
The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse is encircled by a large chain, placed there in 1937, to help anchor it to the ground in case of a hurricane. The walls are made of bald cypress and red cedar which are held together by wooden pins and iron spikes but it has had recent maintenance such as a new roof among other fixes.
The schoolmaster and family lived on the second floor above the classroom and the kitchen was located in a separate building to reduce heat and threat of fire. The building originally belonged to Juan Genoply. The classroom was shared by both boys and girls.
We were told to push the button when we entered the schoolhouse to get the teacher. He is animated and tells us about the school.