The Bo Thomas Room presents a one room schoolhouse in conjunction with "School Days" in The Champion Hills Room. This classroom recreation is indicative of schoolhouses that doubled as churches from 1850 to 1930. In early schools, each child owned a book-sized writing slate encased in a wood frame. This was used for practicing script. Students scratched the slate with a cylinder rock such as soapstone. They did not preserve any of their work, therefore memorization was emphasized.
Children sat on long benches made by the parents. By the 1880's, children sat at individual desks with younger children at the front of the room. All desks faced the front toward the teacher who was the sole source of instruction and discipline in the classroom.
Most one-room schoolhouses had a potbelly stove. The benefit of this type of stove was that it burned many types of fuel - wood, coal, corncobs, straw and cow chips. Farmers usually provided fuel for the stove.
This original pump organ is from the Holly Springs Union Chapel/School. Reverend J.F. & Emily Woodfin granted three acres to the Holly Springs community in 1878 for the construction of a school/church building. Baptist, Methodist & Presbyterian churches had permission to conduct non-denominational services. The organ was used for music studies but was the last priority behind reading, grammar, spelling, penmanship, arithmetic, recitation & elocution, history, geography, physiology & health.