This brick school is located on Ferry Street in the southwestern Michigan city of Niles. The historical marker standing next to it reads:
Constructed in 1867 at a cost of nearly $3,000, the Ferry Street School opened in January, 1868 as Niles’s school for “colored children.” In 1870 the Niles school system was integrated, and this facility closed. It reopened as an integrated school in 1873. The west wing was added in 1903. From 1956 to 1975 the School for Exceptional Children was located here. In 1975 concerned citizens began restoring the original building to its nineteenth century style. Nineteenth century one-room schools in this community typically contained a woodburning stove, woodbox, water bench, coat pegs, wooden blackboards and long rows of desks. One teacher often taught two grades. Lessons were in reading, writing, spelling, numbers, declamation and geography – – all with a moral. This school provides a link to schools of yesteryear.
If you read what was on the historical marker, you probably wondered about declamation as I did. According to Wikipedia, it is an artistic form of public speaking. It is amazing what I learn from reading historical markers.
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