Hinkletown Then: The School

"School terms were only a few weeks in the winter when the young people could be spared from home duties, and another few weeks in the Spring for younger children and little beginners. It was a long walk through the woods on cold snowy mornings, but hardship was part of the daily life. The children to the west would make a point of stopping at the Chapman house to get warm, and, often were fed pancakes hot off the griddle to get them warm."- From Nellie Maude Bever: about the Hinkletown school in the 1860's: Descendents of Henry Charles and Mary Ann Chapman


Memories from Hinkletown students:

"We often walked to school barefoot, and carried our shoes, made from the leather of a saddle. It was hard times back then. We only wore our shoes inside the school. There was a big pot-bellied stove with two rings around it. The bottom ring we used to get our feet warm, and on the top ring we set our potatoes to bake for lunch. My job was to shake the grate on that stove very often." - Murray Hall


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"I used to pump a lot of water from that old well by hand. It was my job to carry water to the school. There was an old coal shed to the east of the school, and we had to carry coal for the pot-belly stove." - Earle Hall

"Education was taught in a one-room schoolhouse located at the west side of town. All the grades were held in the one room. During the winter there were as many as 52 pupils, but when field work started, fewer people came to school." - Janet Miller, from the History of Hinkletown, North English Record - 1972

"Another interesting thing that may still be in back of the school: about 1/4 mile back on a slight hill before you get to the English River there were wagon trail impressions in the hill and we used to go back there every May Day in school to hunt mushrooms and flowers. The story is that it was a covered wagon trail in early years." - John O'Rourke

"In the old Hinkletown school house every Friday night Literary was held for entertainment. A debate was always the main attraction of the evening. Some of the speakers were Henry and Frank Rock, Jimmy and Pete Hanley, Bill and Den Stapleton, Tom and Sherm Johnson, Mike McGurk, James Breeden and Charley Hall." - Lucy Hudson Whitmore

"I went to Hickory Ridge School at Hinkletown starting in 1939. Our kindergarten teacher was Miss Ida Jones. Then Trela Humphrey taught until I was in the 6th grade. Mary Walsh taught me 6th, 7th and 8th grades. We walked the two miles from home to Hickory Ridge and back each day. In the winter time the roads would be drifted shut and were often muddy. We would walk as far as Trela Humphrey's parents and stop in there and get warm. By the time we got there, Trela, our teacher, would already be gone to the school. We would follow her footprints in the snow. In good weather we would cut through the many fields and pastures northwest of the school. It cut a lot off the distance and was much easier than walking on the muddy roads. On May 1 each year we got to crawl the fence just east of the coal shed onto your property, and go looking for flowers, mushrooms and whatever else we could find. That was a highlight of our entire school year. We would find morels, jack-in-the-pulpits, violets and May Apples. The teacher would let us go as far as that big bluff that overlooks the river. It was a great day!" - James Chapman






All that remains today of Hickory Ridge School is this stone foundation, and the memories of the students.