1934 Lincoln School Report Card

While we’ve not done extensive research to make sure that we’re not in some sort of violation of FERPA for posting this, we are reasonably sure that since the report card is from 1934, and we have the permission of the student to post it, we’ll be ok.

This is a report card issued to Lancy Carter by the Lincoln School in 1934. You’ll note that she was the top student in her class (of 2) and successfully graduated on the third grade with high marks! With so many schools today moving to electronic grade reporting, paper report cards are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, making this a priceless little piece of American history!


In the Spirit of the New Year

Many of the people involved in the Etna Schoolhouse Foundation are teachers or retired teachers, and so it came with a great chuckle that one teacher, Maryjane Stafford, discovered the following document in a collection of personal papers that belonged to Etna Schoolhouse teacher Celia Carter well over a century ago.

It is a recipe for the making of two types of brandy- Cherry and Blackberry. The current generation of teachers can all certainly relate to wanting to unwind at the end of a long week of teaching, and so for many of us, this pair of carefully copied recipes from the N.Y. Weekly brought us a little closer in spirit (pun intended) to Ms. Carter.

As for the recipes themselves, they look both potent and delicious, featuring real cherries and blackberries, a lot of sugar and several gallons of 95% alcohol. Perhaps the Foundation will make recreating this recipe one of our first reenactments, which would be quite a lot more “spirited” than demonstrating butter churning or
ice cutting.

So, in the spirit of the New Year, we share with you a recipe for a spirited New Year from the 1870s.

Cherry Brandy
Mash 16 pounds of black cherries with their stones- add 5 gallons of 95 percent alcohol. Macerate for 2 weeks, press and add 10 pounds of sugar dissolved in three and a half gallons of water. Filter.

Blackberry Brandy
Take a quarter of an ounce each of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and 1 drachm of cardamon. Grind to a course powder add 16 pounds of mashed Blackberries and 5 gallons of 95 percent alcohol. Macerate 2 weeks. Press and add 10 pounds of sugar, dissolved in three and a half gallons of water. Filter. From N.Y. Weekly.

1875 Teaching Certificate

Some of the prized old documents of the Lincoln Schoolhouse and of Etna’s heritage are starting to trickle in thanks to the amazing efforts of the readers of this blog, including this incredible document to the left. This is a teaching certificate issued to Celia Carter in 1875.

The text is as follows: Teacher’s Certificate, Sold by D. Bugbee & Co., Bangor. Etna May 25, 1875 This certifies that the bearer, Celia C. Carter known as a person of good moral character, and having passed a satisfactory examination in the branches required by Law to be taught in the Public Schools of this State, is recommended and authorized to instruct the Summer School, in District No. Two Town of Etna. Lewis C. Whilten, Town of Etna.

Thanks to another reader, we also have a picture of Celia, who lived just down the street from where the Lincoln Schoolhouse sits. Recently we featured her sister Sadie’s buttermold in an article on this blog.

If you have artifacts or documents that relate to Central Maine History or to one-room schoolhouses in general, we would love to hear from you! Contact us through our Facebook page, or email our webmaster here.

From Etna Center to NYC

The picture you see to the left is of an antique butter mold. More specifically, it is a square “print style” mold, from the late 1800s.

This particular mold was owned by Sarah “Sadie” Carter, a longtime Etna, Maine resident. Sadie and her sister Celia lived at Etna Center. She was a teacher and later the town’s postmistress. Sadie and Celia resided in what is now the home of Jean Carter and the late Crawford Carter, Jr.

Though its days of service in the production of rich dairy butter are over, this simple wooden box still brings joy to its owner, as it has become a family heirloom. Current owner and Carter descendant Nancy Christie Sander of New York City treasures her butter mold, as it reminds her of a simpler time when her ancestors lived off the land of Etna.

Today we often get our butter from supermarkets in neat and uniform paper-wrapped rectangular sticks, or in plastic tubs. In the not so distant past, farm families with cows would often make butter and take it to market for sale. Butter with a design on it, such as would be made by the carved box you see here, tended to bring a higher price, and thus many of the butter molds and presses found from the 1800s feature the same sort of carving you see in the bottom of Sadie’s.

As part of our mission to preserve many aspects of farm life, we intend to present lessons on butter making in the future, along with other farm-family skills that would have been second nature to students at most one-room schools but which are rapidly being lost in the technocentric modern world. If you would like more information on Butter Molds, we found a very good resource here.

If you have an artifact or story you would like to share with us, please contact us through our facebook page or via email.


From Residence to Resource

For many years after it stopped being one of the local schools, the Lincoln School was used as residential housing. Appliances, furniture and rooms were added to the interior of the original building to give it more of a “house” feel and less of a “one-room schoolhouse” feel.

In early August, 2011, we captured some pictures of the schoolhouse just days before a team of volunteers came in to tear out the last vestiges of the Lincoln School’s “dwelling era.” We’ve uploaded some of the pictures to the Etnaschoolhouse flickr account, which you can find here.

Also at our Flickr, you will find some pictures from the volunteer crew as they worked to tear out the carpets, drop ceiling and interior walls that had turned the schoolhouse into a rent-able living space for several decades.

Said one of the volunteer crew: “We filled a 30 yard dumpster and recycled a few items by putting them down at the corner. We were pleased to see that they were gobbled up by people who passed by.  The appliances were picked up first and the toilet was the last thing to go.”

Etna Schoolhouse Class of 1924

Here we have the students from the Lincoln Schoolhouse in 1924. Isn’t it amazing to think of the differences in the world they were born into and the world of today?

If you have information as to who any of these people might be, or have any stories or experiences or similar pictures from one-room schoolhouses you would like to share, please contact us through Facebook or by emailing our webmaster here.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Etna Schoolhouse

Photo: UMaine Cooperative Extension

A staple at Thanksgiving tables throughout the U.S., the cranberry is a superfruit native to Etna, Maine.

Lancy Bradshaw, born and raised literally down the lane from the Lincoln School, recently recalled her days as a child picking wild cranberries for our blog.

The cranberry bog was in South Etna on what we called the meadow.  It flooded at various times of the year and we skated there in the winter.  In the fall we went over to pick wild cranberries.  I have no idea if they were something left over from earlier settlers or the Native Americans who preceeded the settlers.  That meadow was very near the South Etna Schoolhouse.  I actually don’t remember much about the actual picking , except that the family was always thrilled to get the bounty.  Remember, no big trucks brought fresh cranberries to the Country Store at North Etna.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, a recipe for those cranberries:

Cranberry Sauce
Yield: about 2 pint jars or 1 quart jar
1 quart cranberries
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
Wash cranberries. Cook berries in water until soft. Press through a fine sieve. Add sugar and boil 3 minutes. Pour boiling hot sauce into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a damp, clean paper towel. Adjust lids. Process 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath (pints or quarts).

Cranberry Orange Chutney
Yield: about 8 half-pint jars

24 ounces fresh whole cranberries
2 cups chopped white onion
2 cups golden raisins
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
1 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
3 sticks cinnamon

Rinse cranberries well. Combine all ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until cranberries are tender. Stir often to prevent burning. Remove cinnamon sticks. Pour the hot chutney into hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a damp, clean paper towel. Adjust lids. Process 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath.

Spicy Cranberry Salsa
Yield: about 6 pint jars

6 cups chopped red onion
4 finely chopped large serrano peppers
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar (5%)
1 tablespoon canning salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 tablespoons clover honey
12 cups (2 3/4 pounds) rinsed, whole cranberries

CAUTION: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

Combine all ingredients except cranberries in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat slightly and boil gently for 5 minutes. Add cranberries, reduce heat slightly and boil mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Pour the hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Leave saucepot over low heat while filling jars. Remove air bubbles. Adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a damp, clean paper towel. Adjust lids. Process 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath.

Thanks to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for the picture and recipes.

The Lincoln School Class of 1951

We are pleased to present a picture of the Lincoln School Class of 1951. We hope that if you have class pictures from a one-room school or other artifacts of one-room school life, you will contact us through our Facebook page or email us here.

Written on the back: Dorothy Coffin, teacher, Fall 1951. Steve Wilson, Earl, Vicky, Wayne Groves, Glendene Woodard, Vera Graves, Sandra Rowe, Alden Graves, Patty, Patrick Evans, Stephen Graves, Paula Davis, Becky Davis, Mahlon Woodard, Preston Carter, Donn Wilson, Twins, Roland & Ronald Bean, Sharon Habbord, David Graves, Ralph Worcester, Michael McLeod, Richard Malcolm

Math Homework from 1931

Graded Math Homework from 1931

Teachers through the ages have no doubt wondered if their hard work and dedication to their craft will make any sort of lasting impression. In the case of the paper you see here on the left, the teacher’s efforts have definitely lived on- as this math paper, which was handed back to Crawford Carter in 1931.

Crawford grew up to become a leading citizen of Etna, Maine, and a proud veteran of World War II. He eventually purchased the very same schoolhouse in which he’d studied math all those years before.

A Gold Star for Math Excellence

The paper is marked with the date and some information written in the distinctive ink of an ink well, probably by Crawford’s mother, Bertha Wheeler Carter, who was the area Superintendent of Schools.

The paper reads “April 10, 1931. Etna Center. Sub-primary grade, Avis Ray, teacher.”

Best of all, with no mistakes, the paper earned a gold star for young Crawford, who was doing some pretty advanced math considering that in April of 1931 he was still a few months short of his 6th birthday!

If you have any interesting artifacts or memorabilia from one-room schoolhouse life you would allow us to share, please contact us through facebook or by emailing the webmaster here.