Oak Hill Education Program celebrates 20th anniversary

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JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL)- The Heritage Alliance celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Oak Hill School Heritage Education Program Sunday.

Since 1999, the Oak Hill School Heritage Education Program has transported area students back to 1892-1893 to experience what school was like over 100 years ago.

“It’s really fun to watch kids’ reactions because in a way its really different from school today. They come in, you don’t have computers, it’s blackboards, you know? Not even dry erase or smart boards, it’s backboards,” said Anne Mason, the Heritage Alliance Acting Director.

Oak Hill is the largest artifact in the collection of the Jonesborough & Washington County History Museum.

The building was originally located in the Knob Creek area of Johnson City and was a part of Washington County Schools until the 1950s.

Now, the building serves as a living history lesson for today’s students.

“We have kids come and do a day in 1892. We have quill pens and copybooks. If they want to try their hand at the quill pens, we have sleight board. All the old-time school stuff you used to learn your lessons a hundred years ago. Our schoolmarms are decked out and usually, the kids will dress up too. So, it’s really a fun time,” said Mason.

Deanna Carey serves as one of those schoolmarms and has a personal connection to Oak Hill.

“My mother spent her seven years of elementary education here. She always talked about the games they played on the playground. If you got here early you got to play a long time, and they had an hour for lunch. So, that, on pretty days, was taken up by play,” said Carey.

She said telling these stories gives her a greater appreciation for those who taught before her.

“A week or so ago I had a class of homeschoolers. One was five and one was 16 in the same room. Twenty-seven children and that’s what they had back then. The teachers had to be on top of every grade, every subject, every child, and their experiences, there needs,” said Carey.

for more information on the Heritage Alliance, click here.

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