McFadden space redone as one-room schoolhouse

Brian Wilson, Daily News Journal

MURFREESBORO — Students in a McFadden School of Excellence schoolroom were preparing for a class on Thursday expected to throw them back more than a century.

The class taught by fifth-grade history teacher Christy Moore will move to a “one-room classroom”-like space she and another teacher rediscovered at Rutherford County School’s oldest school, Moore said.

While going through attic space above the school library last summer, Moore said she and math teacher Andy Roach found the room they were in still had old wooden floors, plaster walls and a chalkboard.

“It’s kind of untouched by modern advances,” Moore said.

Moore and Roach decided to clean up the attic space and renovate it into a room the campus community could use to take students decades into the past and highlight the school.

The first use of the space is scheduled to come this week when students will have class in a style that predates the building’s original construction.

Students are set to have class in the one-room schoolhouse on Thursday along with an 1880s, pioneer-themed holiday party, Moore said.

While students and teachers will have a handful of modern conveniences — think light bulbs for electricity and indoor plumbing — Moore said the class will try to create a classroom situation much like the ones from the late 19th century.

Gifts wrapped in newspaper will be traded among students, who were encouraged to bring lunch in a pail using the type of foods that would have been available more than a century ago, according to a press release from Rutherford County Schools.

“The kids are really excited about it,” Moore said.

While Moore is excited about the Thursday event at McFadden, she hopes the space that holds it can be used as a “McFadden Museum” to house some of the history of the school first built in 1939.

Ideally, she would like to see memorabilia and artifacts from the school placed in the attic room.

“After that, we decided we need to preserve the history of the school,” Moore said.

She is recruiting school alumni from the school’s opening to the 1970s to take part in a student-led history project sometime next semester. For more information about the project, contact Moore at [email protected].

Reach Brian Wilson at 615-278-5165. Follow him on Twitter @brianwilson17.

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