Get ready to go back to school. Way back. This weekend, Miss Hawkesworth’s one-room schoolhouse recreates the experience of attending school early in this nation’s history.
The schoolhouse is part of Washington’s Encampment in Skippack, a fun-filled annual living history event, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday, Sept 24 and 25, at the IndenHofen farmhouse at corner of Evansburg Road and Skippack Pike. This Skippack event is enjoyable for adults and children of all ages.
Miss Hawkesworth brings history alive; her classroom is engaging and interactive. She will open her schoolroom each day of the event at 2:15 pm. Please arrive on time. Miss Hawkesworth believes tardiness is a sign of poor character.
About Our School
Miss Hawkesworth’s schoolhouse is located at the Indenhofen farmhouse, the home of the Skippack Historical Society. Please, however, do not think you are stepping into a Colonial schoolhouse. Women rarely, if ever, taught school during the 1700s. That job was meant for a man. Women didn’t appear in the schoolroom until after the Revolutionary War, when people began to realize women could contribute to society. Imagine that.
Classes were held in the church or children were taught at home. Our dear President, Thomas Jefferson, had another idea — a public education for all. And so this story begins in the Federal period of our country, the early 1800s.
With this in mind, Miss Elizabeth Hawkesworth, formally of the British country of Wales, enters the scene, having recently arrived in her new found home in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. She is an unmarried woman of an older age who travels to schools and teaches when the regular teacher is ill or needs help. She has been to many locations over many years, whipping many students into shape.
Miss Hawkesworth’s Personal Invitation to You
Good Day young scholars. It is my duty and, yes, my joy to invite you to my schoolroom once again this year at Skippack. If you think Skippack is a backward, seemingly unpopulated town and that the small number of inhabitants includes a disproportionate percentage of Germans, you would be correct.
The purpose of my classroom is to educate your farmhands, otherwise known as your children, in the etiquette, manners, and lessons of the day so they are better prepared to receive the word of God from their Bibles. They will learn ciphering, spelling, penmanship and elocution.
I am not to be trifled with. It is my way to keep order in the school. I am hoping that, you, as parents, place a high value on educating your children and will, this year, allow them to keep to the classroom under my care. There are many swindlers out and about, and education is the best way to keep them at bay. You are dismissed.
This blog post was written by Karin Koons Stocking AKA Miss Elizabeth Hawkesworth, and edited by the Skippack Blogger.