Indian Rock Schoolhouse: A Partnership in Learning
Painting of Indian Rock Schoolhouse by Louise McCutcheon featured at the Maplebrook Art Show
On the south end of the Maplebrook campus there is a one-room schoolhouse, built in 1858, closed in 1927 and restored between 2001 and 2004. It is named for a large boulder on a nearby ridge that was said to be a Native American lookout post.
The restoration and maintenance of the small schoolhouse is a project of the Webutuck Country Schoolhouse Association in partnership with Maplebrook School. Because W.C.S.A. is independent and self-supporting, the assistance of MBS has been vital to the success of the project. In return, the schoolhouse has provided both learning experiences and opportunities for community service for Maplebrook students.
Since the schoolhouse has been completed with the generosity of local volunteers, organizations, contractors and businesses, Indian Rock is now not only a tourist destination, but also a community gathering spot. The more than 100 Schoolhouse Association members help support the activities and learning projects, and enjoy visits to Indian Rock.
Students from local schools and from Maplebrook have helped celebrate Arbor Day, harvest a vegetable garden, and plant spring bulbs. Many classes have enjoyed a lesson in the old schoolhouse.
Students from Little Professors Day Care write their lessons on slates.
Today, the schoolhouse is both a tourist attraction and a community focal point where students of all ages learn about local history. Visitors can enjoy and learn at the "Summer Sundays" workshops - a diverse offering of activities ranging from building a birdhouse to writing with a quill pen.
The school picnic has become a community day, much anticipated by everyone. Concerts, ice cream socials and a farm day have been held in the schoolyard. The new picnic pavilion is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic, chicken barbeque or a crafts class.
The Schoolhouse Picnic and Community Day in 2006
Because Indian Rock Schoolhouse is not heated and therefore used only April to October, the Schoolhouse Association will offer, for the first time this winter, year-‘round learning activities by means of a series of "trunk shows".
Trunk shows are portable exhibits, packed in trunks (foot lockers), with vintage items or reproductions (slates, quill pens, dunce caps, a school bell, a lunch pail, books, photos and lists of activities). Each trunk represents a separate topic or time period.
The first three trunks will be "A Visit to Indian Rock School", "Children's Games", and "Arbor Day". Groups may borrow a trunk, unpack it, and have a schoolhouse experience right in their classroom or meeting place.
To find out about joining the Schoolhouse Association, make an appointment to visit Indian Rock, or to arrange for a trunk show at your school or club, write to us at: IndianRockschool@aol.com and check out our blog: www.indianrockschool.blogspot.com