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Junior Historic Interpreters wash clothes, 1997

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Naper Settlement
A Local Legacy

Ever wonder what it was like to go to school in the 1800s? Well, if you want to travel back in time, all you have to do is go about 30 miles west of Chicago to Naper Settlement. There you will find an outdoor historic village that re-creates 19th century life.

Take a stroll down the road and you'll see Copenhagen Schoolhouse. Usually built as close to the center of town as possible, schoolhouses often served as the town's social center as well. Farm children from first grade through high school sat at desks in this one-room school and learned their lessons. In addition to all being in one room, all the students shared one teacher.

The teachers were expected to teach reading, writing and spelling; then, they could teach a variety of other subjects as they chose, including geography, history, moral values, manners, truth, and love of country. Lessons were taught mostly through memorization drills and spelling bees.

Would you like to have been in school during this time period?

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