•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Monday, August 1, 2011

School's Out



PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: As my photographic explorations among the hills of Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts carry me further from home I've often been surprised at the number of one room school houses that remain standing. Perhaps because I grew up in the city, I used to imagine these old structures to be relics of the 19th century, and I wondered how it could be that they remain standing.

Fortunately, some have historical markers from which I've learned that in rural areas within an hour or two of New York City one room schoolhouses were common into the 1940s, and it is in their nature that there were many; sometimes one every two or three miles, as the students who attended them lived within walking distance. They also survive because memories maintain them; those who were students there in the thirties and forties will sometimes do the bit of upkeep and lobby to restore them. On the Connecticut side of the border many have been accepted as cultural artifacts worthy of town funds and historic preservation. More often, on the New York side of the border they are lonely places that show their age and remind us how time slips insidiously by and how much we have changed.


NOTE: Special thanks to my friend Martin Kimmeldorf who has taken two of my photos and edited and combined them with images and words of his own. I recommend visiting his sites:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinsphotoart/5987675496/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinsphotoart/5992404393/in/photostream/