Pittsfield Township Historical Society :: Roberts School, 1858-1953
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Roberts School in 1953

Location: Removed from the southeast corner of Carpenter and U.S. 12.

Captions: 1) Roberts School in 1953. 2) Report card from 1912/13.

See also: Pittsfield Union Sunday School: History, 1877-1898. The Sunday school met in Roberts School. Pittsfield Aid Society: History, 1886-1942. This society was formed by the Pittsfield Union Sunday School.

In 1837, the first school in District No. 6 Pittsfield Township was held in a small log cabin located along the old Plank Road (Michigan Avenue) on the property of H. L. Roberts.

In 1860, the second Roberts School was built. Originally, the new school was just a 24 x 30 foot structure with a dirt floor and a fireplace.

The first floor was laid in 1872, the porch and storm house were added in 1884, and the extra south wing was constructed about 1890. School was held for ninety-three years in this same building.

In 1953, a new "modern" Meadowview School was opened on Textile Road, which took the place of Roberts school.


Note: The following account was written by the students attending Roberts School during 1941-1942 (and deposited in the Bentley Historical Library). Several dates in the students' account differ from those given above.

The first school in Pittsfield Township District 6 was built about 1840 [1837 given above] of oak logs.

It was located on the North West corner at the corner of U.S. one hundred twelve and twenty three.

It was named Roberts School because it was located on land belonging to the Roberts. Roberts also had a tavern where stage coaches stopped.

In 1860 a deed was issued for the present school building. There is a clause in the deed which states that if the property ceases to be used for school property it returns to the property owner.

The exterior of the second school house was 24' x 30'. The front had two cloak rooms built on where the present windows are. The door was on the south side of the building.

The furniture of the school was made by a carpenter, of which was wide oak planks. All around the room was a wide board nailed to the building which was used for extra seats. The teachers desk was also home made. It stood at the back of the room on a platform.

The stove was a box stove which used 2 foot wood. The wood was furnished by the parents. The stove was on the north side of the room. It was moved to the center of the room because the south east corner would not heat.

In 1881 the present seats were bought also a new floor was laid. A new teachers desk was purchased which was a table with two drawers. It is now used for a library table. In 1878 an additional room was built on for a Sunday School. This was paid for by the Sunday School. There were eighty in regular attendance. On special days there would be more than a hundred. Sunday School was held in the afternoon at 4 o'clock.

In 1892 the first flag was purchased for the school.

In 1900 a new stove with a jacket was purchased.

In 1918 the P.T.A. purchased the present teachers desk.

In 1919 the present floor was laid.

The electric lights were put in in 1923.

In 1925 Roberts School was connected with the M.S.N.C. (Michigan State Normal College) for 3 years in which practice teaching was done.

In 1937 a new furnace was purchased for the school, also a new chimney was built.

In 1875 in the first record of pupils there were 20 students.

In 1925 there were 43 pupils the largest Roberts School ever had.

In 1837 the school year was held for three months.

In 1838 the school year was four months. The teacher was Voorheis who was paid $14.50 per month.

The terms were winter, summer and finally they had a fall term. During fall and spring the children were the same size as we are today but in the winter term the older boys, as old as twenty one came to school.

In 1880 the first report card was used here. A teacher from Wayne College taught here and she started having them. The marks were in numbers the highest ten and lowest one.

In 1890 the children were placed in grades before that they were in readers.

The beginners were not called to class. The teachers would have them make letters at their desks and ever so often the teacher would come around and ask the children what the letters were.

No school parties or entertainments were held at the school.

There was no library at the school. The library was at the Town Hall but the School didn't use it.

The games that the children played were "Long Dutch, One Old Cat, Dog and Deer, Two old Cats and Hide the Chalk."

Facts Taken from Assesor's Book, 1837-1940

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1838

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1902

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1907

Roberts School from 1913

1912

1913

1914-1922

1922-1923

1924-25

1926

1927

1929-1931

1932-1933

1934-1935

1936-1938

1939

1940

Teachers, Salaries, and Number of Students, 1878-1941

Students in 1941

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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