I am looking for information about summer “Teachers’ Institutes” held during the early 1900’s to train teachers of one-room school houses, in particular, a course that was taught at the Norwalk High School in Huron County, August 10-14, 1908. My grandmother, Harriott Wickham, attended this course at the age of eighteen. This is how she described the first day of the institute in her diary:
“Monday, Aug. 10, - The “Institute” began this morning and I must say it’s a great institution.Awfully exciting.I met Irene about nine and we went up.The High School room was full of teachers, of all ages and descriptions.We went up and registered and then took our seats.Each one when he registers gets a number.Mine is 66.About nine thirty, we were called to order and one of the instructors gave an opening address, after which they got down to business and we listened to talks on school management and arithmetic till noon.After dinner we adjourned to the Assembly hall.I am much impressed by my first day at the Institute.There are some of the funniest looking people at it that I ever saw.Haven’t seen but one good-looking fellow among them, and don’t think he belongs, but what can you expect?Irene came over to supper and afterwards we went downtown for a little while.”
That winter, my grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse in District 6, Peru Township, Huron County. I would be grateful for any information about this school, the “Institute”, or teacher training in general.
I would also like to invite anyone interested in the settlement of the Firelands and Northern Ohio to visit my blog at firelands.wordpress.com. Over the next year, I’ll post episodes of a history I wrote about the founding and settlement of Norwalk, Ohio from 1816 to 1858. I welcome comments and recommendations.
Thank you for your kind attention to this message.