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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

Common schools, often comprising a single room with one or two teachers, taught millions of children from the 1850s through the 1930s. They have provided source material for objective historical writings on education and inspired subjective literature on the school experiences of teachers and students. But as prominent as one-room schools have been in the North American experience, and in the perceptions of rural 19th- and early 20th-century life, these ubiquitous structures have not found a place in the archaeological literature. This paper examines the archaeological potential of schoolhouse sites for providing useful information not otherwise available to historians, poets, and playwrights.

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