Monday, July 26, 2010

Stach School History

As the new school year is fast approaching I reflect back on Pioneer Days and the stories told to me by my Grandmother who's father was John Stach, my great grandfather. He donated land and helped build the one of the first one-room school houses in Kansas, "Stach School". It has since been moved and was donated by my family to the Kansas Historical Society. How different times were then. It is amazing how things change and how a one room school has now changed into multiple schools, multiple rooms, indoor bathrooms:), pools, planetariums and the such. How simple things were...

Now children from area schools visit the school and spend the day reenacting how things were. They dress like pioneers and are schooled like children were back then. It is so nice to know that the school is being preserved and one day I can take my own children there.

Here is a little history about the "Stach School"

Stach School History

The one-room school was built in 1877 east of Delia in rural Jackson County to educate the children of Czech immigrants who had settled there in the 1870s from the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia. The school was named for John Stach, a Moravian who donated an acre of land for the site.

About 1915 the belfry, porch and cloak room were added to the school. Over the years enrollment gradually dwindled and classes eventually ended in April 1956. The building continued to serve residents as a meeting place, and in 1966 a group known as the Stach Community Center acquired title from the school district. In the 78 years the school was open, 560 to 650 students attended Stach School District $59.

In 1983 the Stach School was purchased at auction and donated to the Historical Society by Bernice Stach Douglas and family. The building was moved to the museum grounds in October 1984. In 1986 the Woman's Kansas Day Club provided supplemental funds to restore the building. The interior and exterior of the building have since been faithfully restored to its 1910-1920 appearance.

The purpose of the Stach School as a museum facility is to allow the public to experience an environment similar to that in which many Kansans, from the last half of the 19th century into the early 20th century, received their basic education. Although each of the thousands of one-room schools was in some aspect unique, most, including the Stach School, were very similar in architecture, governance, and curriculum. Teachers, pupils, and rural communities, while not by any means interchangeable, shared a common set of assumptions about education and methods of operations during the years of country school ascendance. The interpretation at the Stach Shool focuses on the decade 1910-1020, which was a time before consolidation began to significantly influence the network of small, independent school districts.

Two programs, a tour and the Rural School Days program, are currently in operation at the school. The Rural School Days program is offered to fourth- and fifth-grade students year round. The four-hour, living history program provides students with an opportunity to experience attending a rural school in 1920. A one-hour program also is available. A historical dramatization, "I Have Stood at the open Door," was offered in 1989 and 1990. A one-hour video program is available for loan or purchase.

Source: Kansas Historical Society


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