Alumni of Shippensburg University first proposed the idea of a little red schoolhouse in 1968.
The purpose of this project was to relocate a one-room school to campus, which would represent the first step in the development of public education in America.
The Mount Jackson (or Potato Point) School was taken apart brick by brick in September 1969 and reconstructed on the campus of Shippensburg University. This one-room school now occupies an area known as the Shakespearean Theater, located along Route 696. Shakespearean plays had often been dramatized in the area where the schoolhouse now stands.
The Mount Jackson School originally stood on a site north of Newburg. It was built in 1865 and was in use until 1954. In that span of 89 years, and within the same four walls, an astonishing number of grammar lessons were taught, hundreds of spelling bees were conducted, and scores of Christmas programs were staged.
Pupils ranged in age from 5 to 21 years, and many traveled two or three miles to attend the school. The children studied reading, grammar, arithmetic, geography, history, music, and art, all taught by one teacher. For a small salary, the teacher also acted as bus driver, doctor, janitor, and game leader.
The Mount Jackson School is authorized by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission as an official historical structure.
Mr. Samuel Myers of Newburg donated the Mount Jackson School to the alumni of Shippensburg University. Then the 1968-69 Loyalty Fund Drive by the General Alumni Association of SU raised $25,000 to dismantle and reconstruct the schoolhouse on campus.
Through generous donations of funds and furnishings from alumni and friends, the school's original atmosphere was recaptured. The Little Red Schoolhouse was dedicated on May 9,1970.
The one-room school marks an important phase in the history of education. The reconstruction of the Little Red Schoolhouse on the Shippensburg campus is appropriate because the university has always concerned itself with the education of teachers.
Dr. Gwendolyn Jackson
Teacher Education Department
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257