HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — There’s a one-room schoolhouse in Hempfield Township that dates back to 1881.   It closed down long since, until six years ago.

Now, teacher Donna Eicher comes out of retirement every May, to teach students dressed in 19th century garb.

Twenty  third grade classes take turns, to each enjoy a day of living history.

“We talk about when the school was formed,” “schoolmarm” Eicher says.   “Who the settlers were, the first families that are still here, a little bit about the French and Indian War.  How to write with a pen.”

Even the third graders’ parents never dipped a pen into a jar of ink.  It’s a crash course in yesterday.

“Bathrooms are outside,” student Abagale DiFlorio says. “The board’s chalk, instead of white board.”

But then, two years ago, everything the roof caved in.

“Tornado came through,” says Bruce Shirey, president of the local historical society.  “Knocked half of the roof off.  The ceiling was down.  Twelve feet of roof was missing.  Bricks were on the floor.  Insulation everywhere.  It looked like snow inside the building.”

Volunteers worked long and hard, to restore a piece of the past.


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