The Oldest Wooden School House dates back to the early 18th century and is located on St. George Street by the City Gate. Visitors to the Oldest Wooden School House can tour the property and become acquainted with the daily life of colonial school children.
No wooden structures in St. Augustine built prior to the year 1702 still stand because the British burned Spanish St. Augustine to the ground in that year. Tax records indicate that the wooden school house was present in 1716 and was built for the Genoply family. Located in the "Minorcan Quarter," the original structure was a one-room, single-story building with a detached kitchen where food was made for the family to eat. Kitchens were commonly detached in those times to keep the house cool during the hot summer months and to prevent a fire that started in the kitchen from spreading to the house. A privy with a privacy wall was also kept away from the house, and so was the well. The house's exterior was made out of bald cypress and red cedar logs bound together by wood pins and iron spikes, all made by hand.
Juan Genoply, one of the original inhabitants of the house, also became the first school teacher. After marrying, Juan Genoply added the second story and transformed the house into a co-ed school in 1788. The second-story provided Juan and his family the seclusion they needed to separate his public and private life.
Visitors can view copies of old textbooks and school supplies from the eighteenth century, and tour the kitchen and gardens, where a fruitful pecan tree has been growing for an estimated 250 years. The house has a large chain wrapped around the exterior. The chain was added in 1937 in order to hold the house in place in case of hurricane-force winds and weather. The house is located in the shopping district of St. George Street.
What Folks are Saying About The oldest Wooden School House
Weathered and Worn Schoolhouse Like stepping back in time, this cracked and weathered barn board building is as beautiful as it is historical. Not hard to imagine little wooden desks and the scrape of chalk on little slate boards.
Nice! It is a really nice place where to go even thought it is very small. It is very nice experience when you tell others that you were in the oldest wooden school. The coolest part of that if that at the end of your visit you get a diploma.
The Beginning! As a teacher this is an important piece of educational history. Take a pick and re ember how it once was in our country. Everyone wNted to read and write!
A Trip Back in Time! As a former teacher, I really enjoyed wandering about this small, but informative, area. The little shop held lots of old time school related items as well as new items. Great gifts for teachers here! We spent less than an hour here, but enjoyed it.
A Must See! It looks as though this old school house is being held together with chains. Perhaps it was temporary but how this old wooded structure has survived this long through hurricanes is amazing. If you appreciate history, it is a must see!
Cute Little Piece of History! I loved this little piece of history! The house is tiny and so is the courtyard but it is the neatest thing to see. It's $5.00 "tuition" to enter and you get a diploma at the end of it! If you love history then I would recommend this place.