TAT 05: Origins of the One-Room Schoolhouse


The one-room schoolhouse at Naper Settlement is a reconstruction of the Copenhagen Corners clapboard schoolhouse, originally located on what would become the intersection of Route 59 and 83rd Street. Copenhagen Corners was a small town that is now south Naperville. This schoolhouse was the last of its kind in the area, standing from the 1840s until 1922. The design is typical of one-room schoolhouses across the country, many of which were built from plans found in widely published pattern books and available to builders even in remote areas. Like other newly settled communities, Naperville could not afford to build more than one room. Since the builders were local farmers who knew very little about constructing anything grander than a simple wood frame structure, they relied on other schoolhouses in the area as architectural inspiration. This schoolhouse is made of lumber, but in areas of the Midwest where trees were scarce, sod was often used to build schools and homes.