One-room school open for summer

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:44

    VERNON - If the kids are bored this summer n- take them back to school. The Prices Switch Schoolhouse, a one-room school dating back to the 1840s, will be open for tours and special programs throughout the season. The Vernon Township Historical Society, which maintains the property, conducts tours one Sunday a month, as well as by appointment, according to Dolores Dobbs, Society president. Trisha Furman, a junior at Morris County Community College, will be running a "mini day in the life" program at the school. The program, which is geared toward preschoolers, takes visitors through a typical day at the school from the flag salute to a tour of the surrounding buildings. Students at the program will sing songs and do some of the same activities that students at the Schoolhouse would have done, said Furman. Furman, who is acting as Dobbs' assistant, researched old toys to get an idea of what the students used to play with, as well as making use of Dobbs' knowledge to create the program, which is also available by appointment. Additional information on the schoolhouse came from Emilie Dupont, who presents historical programs in the Vernon schools, said Furman. "They filled my head with a lot of the stuff I needed," said Furman. The Schoolhouse operated in Vernon from about 1840 until 1958, when several of the one-room schoolhouses in the township were consolidated into Walnut Ridge Primary School. Bertha Martin Compton, who taught at the Prices Switch Schoolhouse from 1927 to 1938, was also one of the first teachers at Walnut Ridge. She has written her memoirs of her time teaching there in a pamphlet available from the Historical Society. The Society also runs a museum at the Barrett House, a short distance down Route 94 from the Schoolhouse. The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m., as well as by appointment. Additional information on the Schoolhouse is available at the museum, and with the items on display, visitors can get another glimpse of historical life in the township.