PENN TOWNSHIP - Penn Township of Lycoming County in Pennsylvania at one time was home to 8 one room schools. The township was formed in 1828 named after Penn Township in Berks County.
One room school houses are part of a by-gone era, with few of them still withstanding.
However, the Frantz School House is one of them, although it closed in 1947 according to George Frantz who lives on the property with his brother, Ed Frantz. The building was owned by Donald K. Frantz, father of the two brothers. The school house is now abandoned but its structure is still a reminder of a time when students had to traverse over the hill to attend this primitive structure as we know today.
PAUL BARRETT/The Luminary
This one room school house still remains in Penn Township and reflects the beauty of the Pennsylvania fall season. The area experienced 4 seasons on Saturday, Nov. 19 when the day started with 70 degrees and much sunshine, then ended with snow and strong winds that blew away all the leaves from the trees.
"My dad would walk in winter; rain, snow or sleet didn't matter," George Frantz said. He lived in the farm house also located on the 200 and some acre property purchased by the Frantz family in the early 1800s.
The school house had a makeover in 1982 when the boys painted the front and the roof, but it has not been painted since according to George. They currently use the building for storage. "It's always been in our family," he added.
The school house still has the original slate chalk board inside and the last writing is still there since the school closed in 1947 according to George. "It opened in 1872," he said. On the side door facing west, there is still an out house that was used when the school was in operation. "I know how it looked in the 50s," George added. "Between the pillars and the outside walls there was a bench on each side. As a little kid, I would go and sit there."
The Frantz one room school house was in use from 1872 to 1982. It was estimated that the cost of teaching each student for one month was forty eight cents according to a compilation of schools in "The One Room School - Lycoming County's Legacy."
The schools were open for four months at that time and the teachers were paid anywhere from $15 to $21.25 per month, the higher figure going to the male teachers. Grace Myers from Muncy was a teacher at the Frantz School house when it closed in 1947. At the end of each school year, students from all the one room schools in the area would gather for contests, essays, displays of penmanship, maps and works of art for parents and school officials to see.