The Recorder – Reading, writing and no indoor plumbing: New book recounts history of Leverett’s one-room schoolhouses

Published: 03/07/2021 02:16 PM

LEVERETT – Reflections from students visiting Leverett’s one-room schoolhouses, which often have no indoor plumbing and heat only from wood-burning stoves, are included in a recently published book available for checkout at the Leverett Library.

“10-on-1, Interviews with Leverett Scholars Visiting One-Room Schoolhouses” is a 319-page book printed by Off The Common Books / Levellers Press.

According to Ann Tweedy, a member of the Leverett Historical Commission, the publication of the oral history was delayed by several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tweedy, working with former director of the Leverett Library, Natane Halasz, who is now director of the Erving Public Library, applied to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners for a Go Local grant to help cover the costs.

The book includes photos and transcribed audio interviews with former students Lois Mono, Richard Stratford, Leighton LaClaire, Wayne LaClaire, Viola Williams Black, Bernice Howard Glazier, Marcia LaClaire Sims, Marjorie and Lee Glazier, Hilda Williams, Charles Roys and Betty Glazier House, Charlotte Abbott and Shirley Lashway.

Three years ago, Alyson Bull sixth grade students at Leverett Elementary School conducted the interviews, moderated by members of the Leverett Historical Commission, Edie Field, Susan Mareneck, and Sara Robinson.

The transcription was completed by Helen Kyriakodes and Devon King, public history students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, using the audio recordings from the Historical Commission’s project “A Sense of Where You Are”. These audio recordings are also available on the city’s website.

Tweedy said the books may be sold as a fundraiser but are currently only available through roadside library pickup and interlibrary loan. The materials used, including pictures and documents, are also expected to be part of the city’s 250th anniversary celebrations in 2024.

At one time, the one-room schoolhouses served the neighborhoods of East Leverett, Central Leverett, Cave Hill, Dudleyville, and North Leverett. Some of the buildings remain either as private houses or, in the case of Moore’s Corner Schoolhouse, as a city museum.

In 1950, the Leverett Elementary School opened as a consolidated school with a cafeteria, an auditorium and four rooms, each with two grades.

The book is dedicated to Lee and Marjorie Glazier of Hemenway Road, who died in 2019 and 2020 respectively after settling in the former Coke Kiln School.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at [email protected]

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