One Westport Schoolhouse teacher agreed to a salary of $35 per month, and also offered to complete janitorial work free of charge.
She worked hard to keep her classroom tidy as well as teach students ranging from first-eighth grade all at the same time.
Life in a country school wasn’t easy, but it was an important part of Iowa’s culture in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Visitors can experience life in a rural school at Westport Schoolhouse in Kenue Park in Okoboji.
The Westport Schoolhouse opens for the season Tuesday, June 11, in Kenue Park in Okoboji. Tour the last remaining one-room schoolhouse in Dickinson County 10 am - 2 pm. Tuesday-Saturday through August.
Westport No. 5 was originally located in Westport Township in the southwest corner of Dickinson County and was open to students 1897-1952. It was used a community center for the township after closing and then moved to Kenue Park in 1996. Volunteers renovated it, and it opened to the public as a part of Iowa’s sesquicentennial celebration.
Admission is free, and visitors to the schoolhouse can see original documents from the school, including teacher contracts, teacher paychecks, classroom attendance sheets, and school books. Take a test to see if you could pass eighth grade, ring the school bell, try out your math or cursive skills on a chalkboard or make a bookmark to take home as a souvenir.
For more information on the Westport Schoolhouse and other fun activities in Kenue Park, including the Dickinson County Nature Center, visit our website. You can also keep up on the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Image credit: Dickinson County Conservation