Sep 02-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: September: Sep 02-07
Back to School    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Stephanie Turner

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 07:28 am:

Much to the dismay of summer-vacationing students, it's time again to return to academic pursuits. So it was back in 1915 at the Phoenix School, not far from where we live here in Eagle River. The school picture is a tradition that's been around a long time, and this one from Stephanie Turner is fun to observe (you can see an even bigger version here.)

The styles are interesting as always, with old photos like this. But I wonder why the teacher is looking in a different direction than all the students? The kid's all seem to be watching the camera man (except those who are watching the back of their eyelids). Teacher perhaps sees a stragler in the distance, who won't make it into this year's picture. We'll never know.

You have to admire the courage of a lady like this who would undertake to be in charge of such a crew. If you've ever read "Copper Country Journal", the diary of Schoolmaster Henry Hobart from 1863-64 (by Philip Mason), you know that life wasn't easy back in those early days. Good luck to all returning teachers in our current generation, facing challenges which couldn't have been imagined a century ago.

Color season is already underway here in the U.P., and I hope you have a chance to see some of it this fall. Stay tuned to the Pasty Cam for a virtual tour of this wonderful season in the days ahead.

Have a good week :o)

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 07:44 am:

Wish I could go back to school an know what I know now.

By Jeff Kalember (Jeffkal) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 08:42 am:

not many teachers today have it in their contract that they have to fire up the woodstove and tidy up the classroom like they did back then !!

By Tom Karjala (Tom) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 08:54 am:

What is that rod or stick the teacher has in her hands? Good conduct rod???

By Cindy, New Baltimore, MI (Cindy) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 08:56 am:

Oh, my goodness! I think I just counted around 50 children! It looks like there is only one teacher for all of those children of different ages. I guess she had to rely on the older ones helping with the younger kids. I have 28 new fourth graders, and that's enough to handle at once these days. I'm sure glad I don't have to fire up the wood stove early in the morning!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 09:45 am:

Isn't that the truth David. I told every one of my kids that they didn't realize it then, but those were gonna be the best years of their lives. Naturally, they didn't believe me.

By Therese (Therese) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 09:45 am:

Wonderful photo of an earlier age! My Mom has a photo of Catholic school children at St Alphonsus in Dearborn, and at least three out of four of the kids pictured eventually married each other, including my grandparents. Less mobility made for stable school romances that led to marriage.

By Donald Kilpela (Commodore) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 11:18 am:

Another wonderful read, Charlie, is "The Diary of an Isle Royale School Teacher," a memoir by Dorothy Simonson of her winter of 1932 spent on Isle Royale teaching six schoolchildren. It is published by the Isle Royale Natural History Association.

By Ray & Chris (Ray) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 12:40 pm:

Take a close look at the shirts on the boys in the bottom left corner. Reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld's "Puffy Shirt". Several of the girl's dresses are made from the same material - sisters maybe?

By Hilarie Alwine (Halwine) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 01:03 pm:

I too counted almost 50 kids and thought. "oh bless that teachers soul!" Although she had more children in her class than is typical of now, and had to worry about keeping her classroom warm in the winter, teachers today have many more worries than ever before. God Bless all the teachers out there helping our country's children!

By Jerry Johnson (Jerryjohnson62) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 05:13 pm:

Dorothy Simonson was my father's teacher on Isle Royale in 1932 as were my uncle's and aunt's They grew up on the island , my grandfather was a fisherman and the only time I was there was 62 years ago would like to go back someday.Been to the UP many times but never made it to the island.

By Helen (Heleninhubbel) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 05:35 pm:

Beautiful teacher....gotta wonder who the children are/were....I can't help but wonder if that's where Elmo Negro went to school...????

The children look so sad to me .....wonder if it was the hard times that show on their little faces.

I never realized people lived on Isle Royale...???
God Bless

By Ronald Bradley (Bondo54) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 09:33 pm:

The sadness is because summer's over and now it's back to school.

By Jiggs Gallagher (Jiggs100) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 11:09 pm:

My grandmother, Ida Simons Rowe, was a grade school teacher in Calumet, Sidnaw and Amasa from 1910 to the mid-20s. I still have those old contracts Dave Kalember mentioned, and they do indeed require the teacher to tend the wood stove, keep the classroom neat, and provide instruction in health and hygiene. She made various salaries, from about $400 to about $1000 a year toward the end. She had bad health and lived the rest of her life in Crystal Falls, then moved with my mother to Washington, D.C. during World War II when my mother got a job there. Indeed interesting days back then.

By Jiggs Gallagher (Jiggs100) on Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 11:10 pm:

Sorry--JEFF Kalember. Can't read and type at the same time!

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Monday, September 3, 2007 - 12:37 am:

What a bunch of cute kids! Probably more then sad, kids back then and up beyond my time were serious about school, life, and picture taking. Not many there are overweight either! Quite a few white-headed Finn kids! The boy with the suspenders 3rd on the right of the teacher looks just as I did when I went to Dollar Bay & Pewabic schools!
Back then much of kids clothes (even the adults), particulary the girls dresses were homemade from flour sacks! All the large flour sacks had some nice prints and materials meant just for that use!
Yeah Dave, I agree going back now to school!

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Monday, September 3, 2007 - 12:42 am:

Oh, The rod the teacher has is likely a blackboard pointer. However they did make a "good conduct" tool!

By jbuck (Jbuck) on Sunday, August 18, 2019 - 01:44 pm:

Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) you beat me to the punch! I agree that many of the clothes were made from flour sacks printed with designs for dresses & shirts. The people were probably making clothes out of them before and the wise flour producers thought to encourage the purchase of their brand by printing the designs.

Great discussion today - thanks Charlie!

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Sunday, August 18, 2019 - 03:22 pm:

If they were like me at that age, they're probably sad because they had to sit for that silly photo instead of out playing and getting into mischief.....

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