The Amish are as thrifty and efficient as they come. While school is out for the summer, the Amish often use livestock to graze in the school yard. Doing so saves time and effort in having to mow the unused grassy area around the school. Where children play at recess for eight months, sheep now keep the grass naturally trimmed.
Even in a blowing snowstorm, this light blue door stood out from the blandness that surrounded it. Blue is one of the few colors permitted by the Swartzentruber Amish, the lowest order Amish. They are the plainest of The Plain People. If you didn’t know that, you might not think much about this ordinary blue door. But for the scholars and teacher of this Amish one-room school, it might be the only splash of color they see in their stark schoolyard.
In one way, this is a typical one room Amish school. In another, it’s not.
The school is plain white, as is the custom among the Amish. This particular one was once a public school until the school consolidation wave hit Ohio in the late 1950s and early 1960s. When the local schools were closed, the Amish often bought them and started their own schools. That way their students weren’t far from home and could walk to school.
The atypical aspect of this school, at least structurally, is that it has a metal roof. Most Amish schools have shingled roofs. A metal roof would cost substantially more than a shingled one.
Another point of interest is that this school was closed yesterday, a Wednesday, when I took the photo. Why? It’s harvest time, and the school was closed for three days so the youngsters could help husk corn at home. Apparently most of the students who attend this school live on farms. Otherwise the school board, made up of five fathers of the students, wouldn’t have closed the school in the middle of the week.