Iowa One-Room School Workshop

The 10th annual Iowa One-Room School Workshop, sponsored by the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance will be held Oct. 2-3, 2009. It will be held at the Heartland Acres Agrihibition Center in Independence, Iowa. The first day is sessions and the second is a tour of nearby schools. I’m going to be presenting a version of my school lunch program.

Friday, Oct. 2 AGENDA

8:00 a.m. Registration – Events Center, lower level

9:00 a.m. Welcome and Conference Overview –

Bill Sherman, IHPA Board Member

9:15 a.m. Country School Preservation in Norway

– Leidulf Mydland. Norwegian Institute

for Cultural Heritage Research

10:00 a.m. Creating a Country School Curriculum

and Generating Visitors – Dale Williams,

Reed School Director, Wisconsin

Historical Society

11:00 a.m. How Networking Can Help Your Country

School – Caroline Bredekamp, Jackson

County Preservationist

11:30 a.m. What’s for Lunch at the Country School

– Sarah Uthoff, Country School



12:30 p.m. Tourism and Implications for Country

Schools – Carrie Koelker, Eastern Iowa

tourism Director and Candy Streed,

Program Coordinator Silos & Smokestacks

1:00 p.m. Amish Schools Today – Mark Dewalt,

Winthrop University, South Carolina

1:20 p.m. Rewards and Incentives in Country

Schools – Susan Webb, Birmingham,


1:45 p.m. Planting Around a Country School –

Sheryln Hazen, Buchanan County

Roadside Manager

2:00 p.m. Creating the Agribition Center and

Tour – Mike McGill, Evens Manager and

Leanne Harrison, President of

Buchanan County Historical Society

3:00 p.m. Tour Summit School

3:30 p.m. Visit Wapsipinicon Mill and Little Red

Schoolhouse Antique Shop in


5:30 p.m. Dinner and Country School Video


Saturday, Oct. 3 TOUR

8:15 a.m. Meet in Heartland Acres Parking Lot to

Begin Tour

We will visit a public and private Amish school and

travel north to Fredericksburg where we will visit a

country school museum. Lunch will be at the Farm



$30 Includes Friday lunch, museum tours

and handouts

$15 Includes Saturday tour, lunch and

wine tasting

Please return registration form with

check made out to the Iowa Historic

Preservation Alliance (IHPA), by Sept.

24th to:

Mike McGill

Heartland Acres

2600 Swan Lake Blvd.

Independence, IA 50644

For questions or more information contact:

Bill Sherman (IHPA), 1-800-434-2039,

or email


Amy (Heartland Acres), 319-332-0123


Country Inn & Suites

2100 Swan Lake Blvd., 800-456-4000

Rush Park Motel

1810 First St. W., 800-429-2577

Super 8 Motel

2000 First St., 800-800-8000

Camper parking available in Heartland Acres

parking lot





McGuffey Museums in Oxford, Ohio

The early association of McGuffey with Miami University led them to collect his papers and various editions of his readers. The special collections library holds most of this material. There are finding aids are on the following link. Scroll down to William Holmes McGuffey. There are several different finding aids, several with much more information than typical finding aids.

A digital scan and transcription of McGuffey’s papers is available here:

For many years, there was a special display of McGuffey material in the library. This included the 8 sided lazy susan style desk to keep multiple tasks open at once, the way we keeps multiple windows open on our computers today. After years of service as a private home and with various university functions, the house was purchased in 1958 and has been restored to a similar condition to when the McGuffeys lived there.  The McGuffey objects previously on display in the library are now on display in the home. The house is pictured above.
The museum produces a quarterly newsletter known as The McGuffey Report Card. Unfortunately they do not offer postcards, but they have started a series of McGuffey themed Christmas tree ornaments with a new issue every year.

The McGuffey bust off the McGuffey Memorial in front of McGuffey Hall
The McGuffey bust off the McGuffey Memorial in front of McGuffey Hall

Also, on campus, is a McGuffey statue in front of McGuffey hall. The statue consists of a bust with a smaller statue of three children reading from a McGuffey reader behind them.

Often times people say the McGuffey Readers are like those Laura read, but the biggest period of McGuffey Readers had already passed before Laura came along and she didn’t use them. In Walnut Grove she used the Watson Independent Reader and De Smet used the Swinton series (with a few other texts also required). However, according to one author, part of the McGuffey appeal was there emphasis on proper public speaking and reading aloud and that tradition was certainly alive and well in Laura’s education.

UPDATE 2014: I have more McGuffey links to add. One is the text of the program given at the conference by the lady in charge of the McGuffey special collection

The other is a children’s information sheet put out by the National Park Service.

McGuffey and His Readers – Book on Internet Archive

Find McGuffey’s grave on FindaGrave:

Find reprints of the 1836 version from Mott Media:

Find reprints of  a later version from John Wiley and Sons:

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.