|Pittsfield Township Historical Society|
by Carl Pfitzenmaier
Name and Location
Our School is called the Dold School. It was named after one of our present members of the district. It is located in Section 13 of Lodi Township on the corner of Ellsworth and Wagner road. It is a fractional district namely Lodi and Pittsfield. The school is about five miles from Ann Arbor and about four and a half miles from Saline. It is one half mile north of the Saline Ann Arbor road. The roads are good at all times every year, in winter they are kept passable by means of our modern county road equipment.
Other Locations of School Buildings
The other buildings are the boyūs and girlūs lavatory. The boyūs lavatory is on the west side of the schoolhouse. It is made of wood and has a pointed roof. The girlūs lavatory is on the east side of the schoolhouse and is made of wood. The garage is on the east side of the schoolhouse. It is made of wood and it has a flat roof. The garage faces the north. Our school also faces the north.
Our Lighting System
We have electric lights in our school which colonial children did not have. We have three windows on the east side and three on the west. We have one window in each cloakroom facing the north. We have three electric lights in the main building. They are in triangle form. We also have electric lights in the hall, on the porch and in the basement.
Our Heating System
The Dold School is heated by a furnace. The name of the furnace is a Kalamazoo Furnace. It has been installed since 1939. The school has always been heated by a furnace. There are four hot air registers and three cold air registers which help to regulate the heat. There is also an electric janitor which came along with the furnace. If sometimes the schoolroom should get a little too warm the teacher raises the window so there is fresh air coming in. There is generally a pail of water on the register at the back of the room to keep the air from becoming to dry.
The fuels we burn are wood and coal. There is a basement in this school so we store it there. The registers are put in convenient places around the room. There is a water pan with this furnace it must be kept full of water. One of our board members builds our fire every Monday morning so it is warm when we get to school.
Heating Schools in Early Days
The way they heated schools in the early days was by fireplace. The heat did not go around the room very good. If you stood by the fireplace your face would burn and your back would be cold. In the morning the teachers or a big boy would go to the school early to start the fire. When the other children came to school it would be warmer.
In 1742 Benjamin Franklin invented a stove which sent the heat into the room. None of it went up the chimney so the school was warm. They did not have any matches. The way they started the fire was to have a piece of hard stone which was flint struck against a piece of steel which started a flame. If it went out the children were sent over to the neighbors to get fire.
Seating and other Furniture in our Room
We have four rows of seats in our room. They each have six seats which makes twenty-four seats altogether. Three rows are for the older pupils and one row for the small pupils.
The teacherūs desk faces north and the seats face towards the teacherūs desk. Near the teacherūs desk is a Kadette radio. Our piano sets in the southwest corner. We have two librarys on the west side of the room. We have a table for the little folks in the southwest corner and we have a bench near the table. We have a large tin cabinet under the table we have three small chairs for the little folks. We have a chart facing north. We have three blackboards one facing north one facing west and one facing east.
We also have a large sand table which is used to portray different scenes of the year.
Teachers of Today
The teachers of today must go to college at least three or four years to get a good education. Years ago teachers had very little education. Today we have more textbooks, seatwork, playground equipment, and things to work with. Most all teachers of today furnish their own means of transportation.
Some of Our Early Teachers
Hazel Broomfield Blaess and Ethel Hoffmeyer Dickson are still teaching in the county. Mrs. Gross has taught our school for sixteen years.
Source: Pittsfield Township records, box 1, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. This entry is from a history of Washtenaw County Schools written by students in the schools and loaned to the Bentley Historical Library by Julius W. Haab, County Superintendent, August 1943. It has been edited slightly for inclusion on the Pittsfield Township Historical Society Website.
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