Possum Trot School, 1878-1896

POSSUM TROT SCHOOL 1878-1896 was located on a dirt road about 1.5 miles south of the old dirt Franklin Road and west of the present Coleman Hill Road. The site is marked on the Beers Map of 1878.

The school was a one-room log building about twenty by twenty-four feet. It had no stage. The seats were benches about eight feet long. Equally long slant-top desks about 3.5 feet high faced the benches. In the tops, which could be raised, were kept the ink and the copy books.

There was usually a writing period just before noon when pupils stood and had their writing lesson. The nearest well was about 1.2 mile away. The building was surrounded with cedars with not another building in sight.

In 1882 Thomas Morgan Patterson came to Possum Trot to clerk in the country store and to teach in the one-room school. He married Jimmie Louella Snell in 1885. Sometime later he wrote to Washington, requesting a post office and suggesting a name. Because the name he proposed had already been given to a post office in Tennessee, the government gave the name of Patterson in 1888.

When a new road was built, the old road on which the school was located became almost abandoned. In 1896 PATTERSON SCHOOL was erected west of POSSUM TROT SCHOOL and about 1/2 mile east of the last PATTERSON SCHOOL.

SOURCES: Frances Walden and Daisy Wray, “Almaville” in the files of the Rutherford County Historical Society, “Almaville” folder. “Patterson School History Outlined,” The Daily News Journal, Nov. 9, 1948, p. 4, from information given to the Fifth and Sixth grades of PATTERSON SCHOOL by H. L. Patterson, son of Thomas Morgan Patterson.

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